Building Hope: Local Army Veteran receives a hand up with home improvements

Local Army Veteran receives home upgrades with a little hand up
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 1:44 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Home Depot Foundation and HopeBUILDERS Kansas City worked Tuesday to make safe and accessible changes for Darrell Brown, an Army Veteran living in Kansas City.

Brown served in the Army until 1991, serving in both Panama and Germany, then moving back to Kansas City with his wife. Just a few years later, he suffered a stroke that limited his motor functions. He now is in a wheelchair and can walk a little bit, he’s able to stand up with some help from his wife and his nurse, but his home needed changes for him to live comfortably. Or as his nurse puts it, get back his freedom.

“I feel like I’ve been blessed, I’m overwhelmed. Tears have been coming out my eyes all day,” said Brown. “Everything, they upgraded my entire home.”

Home Depot’s Associate Volunteer Force is building a 40-foot wheelchair ramp, updating the bathroom, adding grab bars, new toilets, and a new vanity on Tuesday. HopeBUILDERS Kansas City volunteers join them to ensure brown is safe around his home. They’ve got the tools, and they like using them.

“A lot of our folks are very handy and they want to be able to help people in the community,” said Wayne.

HopeBUILDERS Kansas City’s Greg Wayne said the work starts about a month or two in advance with people checking out the layout of the home for the proper ramp.

“We have ramp design people that come out, look at the topography of the house, the layout, and then figure out what the best ramp design is going to be,” he said.

It’s been a struggle for years now for Brown, but these generous acts are motivating him to move forward.

“This doesn’t happen to every veteran every day and there’s a lot of veterans out there like me, that do need help,” he said.

Since 2011, the Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $500 million in veteran causes and improved more than 60,000 veteran homes and facilities. The Foundation has pledged to invest $750 million in veteran causes by 2030 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through the Path to Pro program by 2028.

To get the latest news sent to your phone, download the KCTV5 News app here.