Purple Heart Homes Expands Aging in Place Program Through the Formation of Chapters

Become a PHH Chapter Leader in your Community

STATESVILLE, N.C., July 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Purple Heart Homes (PHHUSA) announces the creation of Chapters to expand its reach throughout the US of the Aging in Place program to provide more housing solutions for Service Connected Disabled Veterans that own their own homes (see: www.purplehearthomesusa.org).

The framework for the formation of PHH chapters allows community leaders across the country to serve deserving Veterans in their areas.  The model has been tested over the last 18 months by a group composed mostly of Veterans, many retired that live in the Golden Corner of SC.   Based on the success of their experience, the PHH Board has approved the Chapter program.

A PHH Chapter will work with Veterans in their community to identify the work that needs to be done – raise the necessary funds, get local permits and volunteers to do the work.  

Chapter solutions will vary by needs of the Veteran.  Typical projects include:  Widening doorways, remodeling bathrooms, building ramps, and installing railings.  Most projects require less than $5,000 in materials (some as low as $300) and consume less than 200 hours of volunteer work spread over a couple of weeks, depending on the ability of volunteer schedules.

An example of a typical project for wheelchair bound Wesley Hamilton, a WWII Veteran in Central, SC who served in the Pacific and was living in a trailer.  Although he had a ramp off his porch, when he acquired an electric wheelchair, he was reluctant to use it because there was no railing on the porch.  The Golden Corner Chapter installed the railing, raised the floor of the porch to the level of the door. 

When it was discovered that his air conditioner was not working, a local specialist donated and installed a new A/C. Total cost of the project was approximately $300, plus the value of the A/C, with a total of 20 hours of volunteer labor.  Wesley Hamilton could not be happier saying, "these changes let me use my electric wheelchair to get outside, and the A/C allows me to be more comfortable and sleep all might."

Another example includes Sergeant Fred Turner in Easley, SC, an ambulatory WWII Veteran who served in the Pacific.  Though not disabled his advancing age made it difficult for him to get up and down the three steps to his porch.  He had fallen several times and had fallen off his porch.  The Golden Door Chapter installed a railing around his porch and on the stairs.  Sgt Fred Turner was so delighted that when finished he demonstrated that he could walk up and down the stairs and said, "I can now sit out here and enjoy the weather."  The Chapter also added a railing to the ramp in the back.  Total cost of the project was less than $250 and required 25 hours of volunteer time. 

"We are excited to roll out PHH Chapters to provide needed simple housing solutions for our older Service Connected Disabled Veterans and their caregivers," said John Gallina, Executive Director of PHHUSA, 'And the beauty of it is that retired Veterans living in a community can help Veterans needing a solution by working together to help them safely age in place." 

"There are few experiences that compare with working side by side with fellow Veterans of all services on behalf of another Veteran, said Larry Druffel, President of the Golden Corner Chapter "it is rewarding and gratifying.'

Larry Druffel spent twenty years in the United States Air Force. He retired as Lt. Col.  Druffel heads up and helped develop the Purple Heart Homes Chapter program. To learn how you can start a PHH Chapter in your community – contact Larry Druffel at ldruffel@gmail.com or call PHHUSA for information 704-838-4044

About Purple Heart Homes:

Purple Heart Homes (PHHUSA) is a 501 c3 founded by Dale Beatty and John Gallina, two Iraq combat wounded veterans that remain on a mission to provide housing solutions to service connected disabled veterans and their families.  Driven by the belief that no Veteran should be left behind, Purple Heart Homes, together with community, is committed to ensuring quality of life solutions for disabled American Veterans from all eras. 

For more information see: www.purplehearthomesusa.org or call 855-PURPLE9

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

Seated Wesley Hamilton Ret Lt Col Larry Druffel, Ret Army Col Mike Tarman, Ret Marine Major Skip  Wakerman St. Fred Turner 2

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