Jimmy has now spent the last two West Virginia winters living in his truck, even though he owns what is technically a “house” in the tiny community of Shaft Holler.
But if our partner Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA) co-executive director Marsha Timpson who serves the community there has anything to say about it, he has spent the last of his winters of surviving the frigid nights in his truck.
“We are doing our best to make sure he won’t spend third,” said Marsha, noting that Jimmy has diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ailments. “He is in a wheelchair and I can’t believe he made it through this harsh winter in that truck.”
In March, students from the University of Richmond descended on McDowell County and spent several days working on making his home habitable, as well as starting construction of a handicap ramp which will allow him to enter and exit his home with ease.
Although the house itself needs “A LOT OF WORK,” Marsha decided that the first priority was to get the handicap ramp constructed for Jimmy “because if we get it up then we can rig up the front room and kitchen for him. It won’t be much for a while – but it is better than sitting in the truck day and night. I know that has to be hard on his legs and circulation.”
The Richmond students got a good start on the ramp but didn’t have enough time to finish it. In May, a group of students from Centre College in Kentucky will be there to continue working on Jimmy’s ramp.
This project is just one of many that we at Americans Helping Americans® support with financial grants enabling Marsha to purchase the much-needed lumber and other building materials and supplies necessary to do the work on homes such as Jimmy’s throughout the county.
But without our loyal and generous supporters who make that possible, Jimmy and so many others we have helped for the past many years and will be helping this year and for years to come, he might well be still living in that old truck.