Habitat for Humanity Veteran Program builds independence

As veterans get older, their homes may need some modifications. Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville is doing it for free.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 7:26 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville is repaying veterans for their dedication and service to the nation by providing home repairs for free.

“I don’t know if I deserve what they have done for me or not,” said WWII veteran Homer Dehnam. “They went overboard. All of their work has been remarkable. Sometimes, I don’t feel like I deserve so much but I am very thankful.”

Last week, Habitat completed a ramp at Homer’s home. Now, Homer can move around his home of 60 years with ease.

“Without it, I would be handicapped getting up and down the steps, so I am thankful,” said Dehnam.

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville completed 15 veteran projects this year. The organization hopes to increase that number in 2023.

“It is great to continue this program with people who have already given so much and sacrificed so much. In some instances, without much thanks,” said Bolaji Ogbulu, Community Development Manager for Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville.

The veteran build program addresses the various needs of the veteran community. As veterans grow older, their homes may need modifications, such as a walk-in shower or handrails. Habitat finds solutions for veterans that keep them safe and allow them to age in their homes.

Homer needs a walk-in shower, so he will not have to step over the tub.

“You might say that’s not that high,” said Dehnam. “I fell out of the tub one day and hit my head on the commode. The walk-in shower is going to help me a lot.”

According to the National Low Incoming Housing Coalition, 2.5 million veterans heading households are at least 55 years of age. Of those 2.5 million veterans, nearly 25% struggle with housing costs.

Studies show that 35% of older veterans are more likely to have a disability compared to 28% of older civilians. These disabilities may require house modifications and other supportive services.

For more information about the veteran build program or how to support Habitat’s initiatives, click or tap here.