Rebuilding homes has always come with it’s own set of challenges, and each and every home we build is a learning opportunity. Not just for the way we build, but the way we minister to our families. Today, we’re incredibly happy to celebrate the Thibodeau home being completed and our first ADA compliant build in Lake County being the perfect fit for Mickey and his needs.
Mickey lost his home in the Valley Fire that raged through Middletown and the Cobb Mountain area. Since the fire, he has stayed mostly on his property in an RV as he looked into ways of rebuilding. He was sent to HCRN and our Hope City project, that’s when the ball started rolling. Thibodeau suffers from a degenerative muscle disease that keeps him mostly confined to a wheel chair for mobility and suffered a stroke that made moving in and out of an RV difficult. To adapt, he renovated a trailer himself to live in and make it easier to move in and out of his power wheel chair.
In building his home, our design was very reliant on Mickey’s input. Being our first ADA home build here in Lake County, it was necessary that the home be usable to Mickey. The word he used to describe his new home was “free range.” Moke Simon, a man of many hats here in the county, was representing Hammers for Hope at this dedication. Moke has been a driving force for rebuilding his community, and he thinks very highly of Hope City. He said, “Hope City came in and on a hand shake said [they’d rebuild]…and they’ve done better than their word.”
At every home dedication, HCRN likes to give our homeowners some gifts from our church partners. We presented Mickey with a quilt from the Presbyterian Church of the Master’s quilting ministry, as well as a hand made cross, crafted by our construction manager, Bill Johnson. He was also gifted with a signed copy of The Peanuts, courtesy of our friends, the Schulz family. Finally, he was presented with the keys to his home.
We asked him to talk a bit about how it felt to be home. Mickey said, “I’m grateful I now have a house I can do most everything myself in,” a place built around his needs. He went on to talk about feeling unsure of what would happen next, but he was confident that it would get done. “Had it been ten years earlier I would have built my own. But being in a wheel chair, don’t climb ladders very good,” Mickey chuckled after that. We left him with some freshly baked goodies and a smile on his face. Welcome Home, Mickey!