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Home Sweet Home

Reprinted from PN November 2012

Woman receives wheelchair-accessible home from the Fort Worth Habitat for Humanity program.

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Who could mistake the wonderful smell of a freshly built home?

New-home construction was a dream for Kylie Norton — a dream come true. After living in apartments for so many years, now Norton finally moves around without the worry of bumping into walls and turning tricky corners.

“There’s so much roominess. The hallways are wider. The bathroom is large; I just parallel park,” Norton says.

In 2009, Norton was the first person to receive a wheelchair-accessible home from the Fort Worth (Texas) Habitat for Humanity. The Weatherford, Texas, resident says she discovered the Habitat home opportunity from a tiny newspaper ad. 

Once she qualified, Norton put $1,000 down and agreed to give 300 service hours to Habitat to Humanity. Then, the hammers started to swing and the studs and drywall soon transformed her lot into a new home.

Best of all, the builders let Norton help with design plans.

“They decided how high to make the kitchen counters by how far my feet stuck out in front of me,” she says. “Under the kitchen sink, they had to cut out the space and install a shield at an angle so my feet could go under there.”

Instead of kitchen cabinets, Norton uses drawers, which makes life a tad easier. Plus, she has plenty of open space under the countertops where her feet and legs fit comfortably.

Norton’s garage gives her some gratitude. No ramps or steps to worry about.

“I can drive into the two-car garage, put the minivan ramp down and roll right into my house,” Norton says.

After surviving a small private plane crash, Norton broke her neck. Even though she has limited use of her hands, in her custom kitchen she sometimes prepares eggs.

Other customizations literally help her body to function properly. An HVAC remote control she carries allows her to regulate body temperature. 

“I get hot easily. With the nature of my injury, I’m not able to sweat, so I have to turn the AC cooler for my comfort and survival,” Norton says. “I’m incredibly grateful for what Habitat for Humanity did for me.”  

 

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Home Sweet Home

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