Youth Work to Make Evansville Homes Accessible for Disabled

Published 06/16 2014 04:33PM

Updated 06/16 2014 08:30PM

Evansville, Ind. - An Evansville woman has been confined to her home for almost two years. Now she finally has the chance to change her living conditions with the help of an youth outreach program. Cynthia Stone experienced life changing events that forced her to start using a wheelchair. Since then, she hasn't been able to leave her home because it wasn't accessible for her disabilities. A youth group is working hard this week to grant her wish of being more mobile.

Cynthia and Victor Stone have been married for 10 years but, the last two years have been very difficult.

"It wasn't good, It wasn't good" says, Cynthia.
"Well it's been pretty depressing for her too!", added Victor.

His wife had a stroke after suffering a broken hip and ankle. For two years, Cynthia seldom left the home unless it was for a doctor's appointment. Even then the couple relies on the help of neighbors to carry her from her front porch.

"It's kinda dangerous lifting her down off this porch in a wheelchair", says Victor.

For the first time in Evansville, youth work camps from churches all over the country are working to help people like the Stones. The group is building a ramp at the couples home.

'Like I said this has been a dream come true for her", Victor added.

Andrew Balberg came from Pearland, Texas. He's serving as the group's guide.

"This week we're gonna leave her in a way she can get out of the house any time she wants down a ramp. That's enough incentive for me!".

The program lasts for one week. The students aging from 12 to 17 years old don't mind getting their hands dirty; especially to benefit someone in need. Lena Swabb is in the 7th grade and came all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She says she's never done this type of labor before.

"Well I felt encouraged because I know that I'd be helping someone. I don't really care about my time. They've been waiting longer and they need it more than I do" she says.

The couple is excited to take advantage of the simple things some might take for granted; like a morning walk and a date at a resturant.

"We've been trying to come out in the morning before it gets too warm. But, now she's looking forward to take off!", Victor Stone chuckles.

"I've been promising I'll take her out Saturday for a happy meal", he added.

In order to participate in the program students are required to pay a fee that will go towards supplies and other resources. The students are working at six Evansville homes to make them accessible for the disabled. The group is staying at Mater Dei High School for the week. All projects are expected to be completed by this Friday. Dennis Wathen is coordinating the program in the River City. He says the group is short on bottled water. Donations are being accepted at the High School.

Report by Fadia Patterson

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