Habitat Lake County Helps Another Veteran

Adam Scherer and his dog Rocco ride the new wheelchair lift at their Lake County home.

Adam Scherer and his dog Rocco ride the new wheelchair lift at their Lake County home.

From the time he could hold a pencil, Lake County resident Adam Scherer longed to be an architect. After high school, he entered the U.S. Army and served for 10 months during the Vietnam War out of Camp Pendleton in San Diego as a Bulk Fuels Tech before being honorably discharged as the sole surviving son in his family. After the war, he fervently pursued his passion and worked as an architect until his retirement. A twenty-five year resident of Lake County and a recent amputee, Adam came to Habitat for Humanity for assistance getting into and out of his home. Habitat for Humanity, as part of the Home Depot Veteran’s Repair Program, assessed his hill-side home and installed a wheelchair lift and built a sidewalk to enable Adam to get his wheelchair in and out of his home and from the house to his driveway.

Says Adam of the modifications done to his home, “It is fun going up and down; the lift and sidewalk have been very helpful. I love that the lift lets me get into my garden and that I no longer get the chair stuck in the mud when it rains. I appreciate the work Habitat did for my house.”

If you are a Military Veteran homeowner or if you are a Veteran who resides in a family member’s home and require repairs or accessibility modifications made to the structure to accommodate a disability, Habitat for Humanity encourages you to apply to the Veteran’s Repair Program. If you have any other questions, please stop by the office at 16285A Main Stret in Lower Lake, call the office at 707.994.1100, or send us an email.

Help for Siseva’i

Siseva’i Vaisau shows off the new deck to her family.

Siseva’i Vaisau shows off the new deck to her family.

Proudly sporting her Disneyland blanket, Siseva’i Vaisau sits in the sunshine in the living room of her grandmother Susan Lemos’ Kelseyville home with her father and uncle, having returned the evening before from a Make A Wish Foundation sponsored trip to southern California where she got to visit Dinseyland and Knott’s Berry Farm for the first time. Not only did she meet Mary Poppins, she got to visit with relatives, some of whom she had never met. The five day trip has made her tired, but she is happy and smiles as those around her talk about the trip.

Like many nine year olds, Siseva’i loves dogs and balloons, being outside on warm days and watching cartoons. She enjoys being read to and likes listening to music, especially reggae. Unlike most children, however, Siseva’i was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, conditions that have brought with them a host of other health challenges to her short life. She and her father have shared Susan’s home for the last two years, a change for that has required adjustments and accommodations be made to the home Susan has owned for the last ten years. Several organizations from around Lake County have contributed to improving the quality of life for Siseva’i and her family. Earlier this year, Susan turned to Habitat for Humanity for additional help.

“The deck leading into our home was so bad we worried every time we had to take Siseva’i’s chair across it,” said Susan.

Laauli, Siseva’i’s father, added, “It shook so bad the whole house would shake. You always knew when someone was coming up to the door.”

Habitat for Humanity was called in to assess the situation to see if there was anything that could be done to stabilize it. With the assistance of Siseva’i’s uncle, Habitat staff rebuilt the deck and stabilized it to make it safe for Siseva’i and her chair to cross.

“We can’t thank Habitat enough for everything they’ve done,” Susan said. “The donations given to Habitat for Humanity that made this work possible, and the workers who did it for us, have been a huge blessing.”

Habitat for Humanity Lake County feels equally blessed to have been able to help Susan provide for the needs of her granddaughter. Always looking for new ways to aid our community, Habitat for Humanity Lake County relies on donations from the community to offer such life-changing assistance to families within the county.

Learn more about how you can help assist other in-need families through volunteering or donating.

A New Roof

Shirley DeLucca's home gets a new roof.

Shirley DeLucca’s home gets a new roof.

As a little girl, Shirley DeLucca came to Lake County for vacations with her family. Her father chose the site of her Madrone Street home in Clearlake for his retirement dream home and began to build. A bricklayer himself, he was able to build his home with the help of friends and family, but never had the joy of living in it. The house, which Shirley helped build, housed her mother for the next 13 years, after which time the house came into Shirley’s possession. Having lived in the house much of her life, she has no desire to live anywhere else. When it became obvious that her home needed roof repair that she was unable to afford, Shirley feared the worst…that she would be forced to sell it and move from the home.

“I was afraid I’d lose my home,” she said. “There’s great sentimental value here; I don’t want to be anywhere else.” Grateful for the assistance she received, Shirley has offered to volunteer at the office whenever she is needed, in whatever capacity she can help. “I like to help people. If others help me, I want to give back. Kindness goes around full circle.”

Her home marks the 100th household that Habitat for Humanity Lake County has been able to service since their inception in 2001. The organization branched into home repair in 2010 to meet the needs of the elderly, disabled, and low income households in the county that are unable to repair and maintain their homes.

For more information on Habitat’s Home Repair Program or the Homeownership program, call us at 707.994.1100, send an email, or come by our Lower Lake office at 16285A Main Street.

Gift of Dignity

Vietnam Vet James Blanton tries out his new wheelchair lift.

Vietnam Vet James Blanton tries out his new wheelchair lift.

James Blanton, a wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran, has not been able to leave his home without assistance for many years. As he puts it, “… am unable to go anywhere, am isolated inside (my home)…” That all changed recently when Habitat for Humanity Lake County installed a wheelchair lift for him.  Now James says, “…you have set an old veteran free from near imprisonment…” His wife Gloria said, “… this will give him the will to live…”

Habitat for Humanity’s president Richard Birk stated, “All of us are honored to have helped James. His grace and gratitude is truly inspiring.” Habitat for Humanity’s Brush of Kindness program has completed repairs and modifications on forty-seven homes in Lake County to date. As a volunteer-based organization, Habitat needs the support of local citizens, businesses, and churches to give their time and donations to allow this program to continue.