Grant money allows woman to fix her living space

A LOCAL woman fixed up her living space as part of a program to keep special needs adults at home longer.

DEANNA FREEMAN sits in her bedroom

A LOCAL woman fixed up her living space as part of a program to keep special needs adults at home longer.

Deanna Freeman, 31, who has Down Syndrome, received a grant from the Family Independence Fund, one of two funds from the Giving in Action Society, which helps families with developmentally disabled members or provides grants to families with youths or children with special needs.

The $30,000 grant helped to complete Deanna’s basement living area, including putting up a safety railing in her bathroom, completing her unfinished living space and bringing the area up to safety standards.

“That’s her area. She spends a lot of hours down there and in her mind, it was always broken because it was never finished,” said her mom Louise, adding the renovations brought Deanna peace of mind and less stress.

“Oh yes, she’s pretty pleased with it,” she said, adding Deanna will show visitors to the house her new space.

“You can tell she’s very pleased this is done.”

All that remains to do is put a railing around the veranda when it comes in, added Louise.

“It’s just been a real blessing for us,” she said.

“It’s just nice she has her independence and it’s nice for  peace of mind and to know it’s safe and clean. It just gives you a boost.”

If Deanna lived in a group home, it would cost a lot more than the grant money she received, said Louise.

“She’s happy here,” said Louise. “I just want to [say] thanks for it and to let people know in the community and if they want to come for tea, they can come.” Louise found out about the grant last fall when she was saying to a friend that she wished she had the money for renovations.

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