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AHIP Helps Another Family, and Prepares to Hold Annual Celebration

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AHIP built a ramp to help Lisa and her wheelchair-bound son. AHIP built a ramp to help Lisa and her wheelchair-bound son.
Lisa's sons, Matthew (left) and Seth (right) Lisa's sons, Matthew (left) and Seth (right)
Jennifer Jacobs Jennifer Jacobs
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

An organization in Albemarle County that spends its year helping families with housing emergencies is celebrating its hard work Friday night.

Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) is a nonprofit organization that relies mostly on grants and private donations to help low-income families have a functional, safe place to live.

Lisa did not want to give her full name, but she did want to share how AHIP helped her family. About two years ago, life changed for the single mom and her two sons; Seth and Matthew.

“Seth was a fairly typical, developing. He was high functioning on the spectrum, and in November of 2015 he had a major health crisis,” she said.

Lisa said Seth was in the hospital for five months: “During that time we lost our home. I had to resign from Albemarle County Schools from my position. Seth now requires 24-hour care.”

The family was able to find a new home in June, but there was one problem: “This house is perfect, except for the stairs to get into the house,” Lisa said.

Lisa said she was carrying her 74-pound child and his 70-pound wheelchair up steps. She said it was dangerous and impractical.

That's when she heard about AHIP, and reached out to see if they could help.

“We do critical home repairs for families in Charlottesville and Albemarle. So we'll do smaller emergency repairs on up to moderate and large scale housing rehabilitations,” said AHIP Executive Director Jennifer Jacobs.

“It was extraordinary dealing with AHIP. Everything from the application process to everyone coming out for assessment, and doing the actual work, and it is beautiful and functional,” Lisa said.

The nonprofit was able to get Lisa a functioning ramp within a month of her applying.

“This is very satisfying, concrete, tangible work. There is a beginning and an end to every single project that we do,” said Jacobs.

The organization will be hosting its 11th block party at Moven Farms from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, September 29. The event is sold out, but those who would like to still donate to help the nonprofit can click here. All event proceeds will support families waiting for home repair help from AHIP.