Ms. H
Poppleton, Baltimore City

2022

Ms. H, aged 58, is a born and raised West Baltimorean. She remembers growing up in the Harlem Park neighborhood before the U.S. Route 40 also known as the “Highway to Nowhere” was built. Her family has lived in Southwest Baltimore City for generations with her grandmother owning a home between North Carey and North Fremont streets. After facing financial trouble, her family home had to be abandoned. Ms. H was finally getting back on her feet when her life would change forever. In 1988, she was shot in the neck by a former partner, destroying her spinal cord and confining her to a wheelchair. Ms. H says that this accident made her approach life differently and she became motivated to serve her community and live life to the fullest. 

 

Ms. H moved into her current home 23 years ago in the Poppleton neighborhood of Southwest Baltimore City. This home was a perfect find for Ms. H. She chose her home because of its proximity to her job at the former Social Security Administration building, her doctors at University of Maryland Medical Center, friends and family members lived nearby and close to many amenities of Downtown Baltimore. Most importantly, It had an elevator and was built to accommodate living in a wheelchair. “It's very rare to find a home in a move-in condition for someone living in a wheelchair, especially in close proximity to health care, grocery stores, and  vibrant downtown Baltimore.” Ms. H says proudly of her home. 

 

She loves her community and was close to many of her neighbors. Many of her home owning neighbors moved away and renters became the majority.  She raised her 2 sons in the home and was involved in their local school. Her sons grew up, one joined the Navy and the other went to work, and both now live in Baltimore County. Ms. H now has 5 grandchildren, with the addition of twin boys who were born recently. 

 

Ms. H retired from her job with the Social Security Administration in 2015, when the office building that was once located in Downtown Baltimore moved to its new location in Baltimore County. After retirement, she decided to follow her passion as an entrepreneur. She started a business, Wheelchair Abilities LLC,  that creates necessary accessories and modifications for wheelchairs.

 

Shortly after her retirement, Ms. H began to notice breakdowns in the systems of her home. Her elevator broke down,  leaving her stuck for up to 10 hours one time, her roof was fitted with solar panels that have proved challenging to take down since the roof began leaking, and the kitchen stove has become inoperable.  These problems have left Ms. H unable to make it to her doctors appointments, prepare meals at home or even to get fresh air outside. Ms. H has always considered herself very independent and active. In the past, she would often take herself wherever she needed to go around the city. Since these repair issues have confined Ms. H to her 2nd floor bedroom, she is unable to live the independent life she is used to.

Health and Safety Priorities Addressed

With the help of Rebuilding Together Baltimore and Lowes, Ms. H home will be able to

  • Repair structural damage to the rear wheelchair ramp

  • Repair and reinforce rear deck railing and supports for rear awning

  • Install low-maintenance hardscaping in the backyard

  • Replace exterior rear porch light

  • Replace the broken rear screen door

  • Remove old cracked floor covering and install new laminate flooring in the kitchen 

  • Install new LED lighting fixtures in the kitchen

  • Install GFCI outlets in the kitchen

  • Repair drywall defects and paint the kitchen and living room

  • Replace broken wired American with Disabilities Act compliant smoke detectors 

  • Repair and secure main stair and basement hand railings

  • Build a new safety gate at the top of the main staircase

Rotted porch railing
Old Floors in Kitchen

Rotted porch railing

Broken kitchen stove 

Ms H home.jpg