Helping Hands

Posted by – Howard Wager, Building Inspector

Meet Bruce and Darlene Howell, long-time residents of Auburn Hills.  The Howells have recently experienced some hardships and we understand their struggle.

Bruce and Wife - eyes closed

Auburn Hills residents, Bruce and Darlene Howell

Bruce worked for the City of Auburn Hills at the Community Center with Senior Director, Karen Adcock.  She brought this couple to my attention because Bruce recently had two brain surgeries and is having difficulty with mobility.  Karen suggested that a ramp to the entrance of their home would be very helpful to Bruce.

After an unsuccessful attempt to find assistance from one of our home repair programs, we decided that we couldn’t take no for an answer.  I measured the Howell’s existing deck, put together a materials list and contacted The Home Depot in Auburn Hills.  Store Manager, Jeremy and the sales team at the Home Depot Pro Desk were very helpful.  Within a couple of weeks, we learned that Home Depot offered to pay for ALL of the materials!  A GREAT BIG THANKS TO HOME DEPOT!

Home Depot Team!

Jeremy, Home Depot Store Manger (third from right) with The Home Depot staff

The next step was to secure volunteers.  One phone call and BAM!  That’s all it took!!!  Optimum Contracting Solutions answered the call.  They are one of our contractors for the Minor Home Repair Program, and they said “YES! For sure!!”  Anamaria Tet, the owner of Optimum, jumped at the opportunity.  It was exciting to see things fall into place so easily.

The final task was to get the ramp built.  Joe, with Optimum Contracting, proposed Friday, February 19th as a good start date.  Here we go!

Howard with team

Helping hands – workers from Optimum Contracting Solutions

The weather was obviously on the same page we were.  When in Michigan can you install a handicap ramp in 60-degree weather in February?  Well, that’s what happened!  The day couldn’t have been any better.  The sun was shining and Bruce actually surprised us and came out onto the porch to check up on progress.

It didn’t take long for the ramp to take shape.  The posts were set and the joists were installed and then the deck boards were laid.  Everything went together without a hitch.  The guardrail and handrail were last to be installed and presto! The Howell’s now have a very nicely built, useable ramp to enter and exit their home.  Bruce said, “This is a whole lot better than the previous steps, which were in quite rough shape”.

Again, A GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO HOME DEPOT AND OPTIMUM CONTRACTING SOLUTIONS!!  HELPING HANDS ALWAYS MAKE A JOB EASIER!