CBC News: Regina Businesses Step Up To Transform 8-Year-Old’s Home To Suit Mobility Needs

A group of local Regina businesses have teamed up to change the life of one family.

The companies behind the Build Love project hope to transform Jared and Liana Kennedy’s home to make it more accessible for their eight-year-old daughter.

Vienna Kennedy has a congenital syndrome which gives her mobility challenges. Her bedroom and bathroom are narrow and hard to get to with her walker.

The Kennedys reached out to some builders to get quotes for the renovations. Brandon Fuchs with Superior Contracting and Derek Wu with Collaborative Construction were both moved by the family’s story. They began figuring out the logistics of completing the work through donations and volunteer hours.

The home is a bungalow and Vienna’s bedroom is right beside the current bathroom. That means she has to do a u-turn in the hallway with her walker to get from one room to the other.

Initially, Fuchs said they wanted to create a more accessible bathroom, but noticed other areas of the home that needed work.

They decided to remove one of the home’s three bedrooms and and make Vienna’s room bigger.

They will also be creating a much bigger, universal bathroom that works as an en suite for both Vienna and her parents.

“We immediately [got] just so much community support that it kind of just spiraled into doing the entire home,” Fuchs said. “This community is really a good support system and I don’t want to turn somebody away when they want to do something good.

“Together we just kind of created this plan and decided that we have enough community support that we should try and make their entire home a better living structure for them, for the rest of their life.”

Volunteers needed

The house has no basement and was originally built on a concrete slab, with concrete walls. Because of the heavy-duty construction, the renovation requires demolition and reconstruction.

So far, about 60 volunteers have stepped up to help, but the group is looking for more. Fuchs said they need about 240 people. They plan to start construction on Sept. 1.

For those that don’t have time to give, cash assistance is also needed for supplies. The project has received both corporate sponsorships and in-kind donations.

Wu said the final product will hopefully be a home that works for Vienna and her family as she gets older.

“Our biggest goal is to accommodate not only Vienna’s current needs and the rest of the family’s needs, but for the future,” Wu said. “We know that she’s going to be growing into a larger bed and growing into a larger walker, so keeping all those aspects in mind and knowing that this house could be their forever home.”

Wu said their goal is to make Build Love an annual project, so they can help many more families.

Source: CBC News