March is national multiple sclerosis (MS) awareness month and we would like to highlight the HBF’s strategic alliance with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Colorado-Wyoming Chapter (NMSS).
Did you know there are 13,000 people living with MS in Colorado? Last year, the NMSS Colorado-Wyoming Chapter provided financial assistance to 223 of these individuals, for a total of almost $134,000 spent directly to help people with MS. This Chapter also provides 455 people with care management services and supports 46 MS support groups annually.
Over the past five years, the NMSS Colorado-Wyoming Chapter has referred 46 recipients to the HBF for home modifications. These projects have ranged from installing grab bars to full remodels including bathrooms, ramps, and lifts (some custom). The total retail value of these projects is $297,650. Thanks to support within and beyond the home building industry, the HBF was able to complete these at a fraction of the retail value.
To learn more about this collaboration, we spoke with LeeAnn Bellum, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Care Management Director at the NMSS Colorado-Wyoming Chapter.
Is there a particular project that the HBF did for one of your clients that stands out?
LeeAnn: I truly think all of the projects are a great example of our collaboration. We have highlighted many of these projects in our newsletters or other PR communications over the years. One project that comes to mind is Jeff S.’s project.
What makes an effective community partner to the NMSS Colorado-Wyoming Chapter?
LeeAnn: An effective community partner is one which provides a valuable service to people with MS, and is supportive of our mission. I believe HBF has been a great partner with us because both agencies are looking for ways to make the referral process easy for the clients who use our services, and we are both committed to doing what is right for the client. We have appreciated the great work that is done by HBF. The work that is done really does improve the quality of life for the recipients, which directly ties into our mission.
What benefits come from working with the HBF?
LeeAnn: The assistance provided by the Home Builders Foundation has a huge impact on our client’s lives, and helps them to feel like they have control over their lives once again. They are able to regain independence in their own home, and feel empowered. So often, the crews doing the work will go over and above in supporting these clients. They will find additional equipment to be donated, or other repairs that can be made to make the home more comfortable and accessible, and bring peace back to the lives of our clients.
A big thank you to LeeAnn and her team at the NMSS Colorado-Wyoming Chapter for the amazing work they do and the support they provide the HBF! As we dive into 2016, we’ve already approved projects for three individuals living with MS and are looking forward to helping even more regain independence in their own homes. Be sure to check out our newsletter for more details on these projects.