Reclaimed Independence: Thelesa's Story - Habitat Stories | Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity

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Reclaimed Independence: Thelesa's Story

Reclaimed Independence: Thelesa's Story

In a world that can sometimes feel isolating, Thelesa's story serves as a testament to the transformative power of compassion and community support. Before receiving repairs on her home, including the installation of a grab bar and a ramp, Thelesa found herself facing the daunting prospect of a hip replacement and doctor's orders that restricted her mobility. She was confined to her home, craving independence but lacking the means to achieve it. In this interview, we delve into how these repairs have profoundly altered her life, allowing her to regain her self-sufficiency and connect with a network of caring individuals.

Q: What was your life like before having repairs done? Specifically, installing your grab bar as well as your ramp?

A: Well, I'm needing a hip replacement. And on my last visit I went to, my doctor informed me he didn't want me going up and down any stairs or steps. I was pretty much isolated in my house, so that was my life.

Q: And now that you've had repairs, how has your life changed?

A: Well, I've gone out a couple of times and went and ran some errands and took care of things by myself. I haven't had to depend on anybody else to do things for me, which has been so relieving. So, it's made me a little bit more independent.

Q: What does having repairs mean to you and your family?

A: It means I can continue to live here, in my home, and that I can take care of myself. All my kids are down south, and they were just so glad to hear that there was someone here, that it helped make me more mobile because it's not healthy to sit in the house all the time.

Q: What was it like working in partnership with Habitat on your repairs?

A: Oh, it was an enjoyable procedure. Jake is just wonderful. He's very polite, very easy to work with. He explains the process. And he was just a pleasure, a blessing to be around. So, it was all very good. I enjoyed the process. It was very easy.

ramp

Q: Could you explain a little more about your situation? Why did you seek out Habitat's services?

A: Well, my husband recently passed away about a year and a half ago, so that left me here with my hip issue. And none of my family lives here, so I'm basically independently on my own now. With no help, I found myself not able to do a lot of things that I needed to do. So, I started searching for a process to be able to leave my home so I could get out into the world. I needed a hip replacement for quite a while. Now I'm waiting on getting some other health issues together to proceed. So, I just needed some help to be able to continue to live independently and take care of myself. With repairs, it's just one less thing to worry about.

Q: Why is it important for you to remain independent?

A: Well, I just have always been very independent. But when I lost my husband, I just lost one person I had that could help with my, what I call it, disability. But yes, I was getting very tired of being just in my home because I had no one else coming. I'm just here. I didn't have anybody else. But anyway, I very much appreciate it. I can get out in the world again.

Q: Did you grow up in Boise?

A: I've been in Boise since 1999. We moved from West Texas.

Q: Is there anything you'd like to say to either the volunteers, the staff, or donors that contributed to this project?

A: Just a big thank you. It's made a big difference in my life already. In just this very short time. I plan on being a very loud spokesman for people or anyone looking for a place to donate or contribute their time. Habitat is the place to look into because it really helped me out. Because there is no way I could have ever had as nice of a ramp built as I have without the contributions and the time that Habitat gave me. You all are amazing. I appreciate it so much.

Q: What is your financial situation like?

A: I am just living off Social Security. Due to my husband's various medical problems and the need to care for him, we used all the savings we had. So yes, I am living predominantly off of my Social Security every month so there was no way I could have done the repairs on my own. I had been trying to figure out how I was going to do this. And ramps are so expensive. Yes, I'm very thankful for it.

Q: Why Habitat?

A: Like I said, I guess I sing his praises too much, but Jake just did such a wonderful job and he's so nice. He makes you feel so comfortable, and you don't even think about him being here. It's hard to find people that want to help you do anything and then someone that you feel comfortable having in your home. Being a woman, an older woman with problems, living by yourself, you're leery about who you let in or who you want around your environment. But Habitat, I knew I could trust.

 

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