Elderly Tyler resident gets walk-in shower thanks to grant
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — The 76-year-old retiree has arthritis and it had progressed to the point that she could barely climb in and out of her tub. But thanks to
Habitat for Humanity of Smith County (Smith County Habitat) and a $4,250 Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) grant from Southside
Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), Ms. Barrett's tub was removed and replaced with a walk-in shower and grab
bars for added safety.
"I appreciate it. I've never gotten anything done for free," Ms.Barrett said. "It was a blessing and something that I needed."
The Smith County Habitat works with Southside Bank, which is a member of FHLB Dallas, and therefore able to utilize FHLB Dallas' SNAP grants.
SNAP provides grants to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications.
Raimund Gideon, director of construction for Smith County Habitat, has been using SNAP grants to help Smith county families for three years
and said word of the program has spread.
"When we started a rehab program in Smith County three years ago, we started pursuing different types of grants that would assist us in
taking care of low-income individuals and people with disabilities," Mr. Gideon said.
Ms. Barrett suffers from arthritis, which had worsened to the point that it was difficult for her to get in and out of her tub. Smith County Habitat used the SNAP grant to put in a walk-in shower.
Ms. Barrett said the change has been good. "I'm able to get in my shower now," she added. "I feel safer. They also put in some rails that
I can hold onto."
Ms. Barrett has lived in her Tyler, Texas home since 1972. She moved into her home with her husband, who passed away in 2006. As a widow living on a fixed income, she said she was thankful for modifications to her bathroom.
Southside Bank Executive Vice President of Marketing Lonny Uzzell said the SNAP program falls in line with Southside Bank's community focus.
"SNAP is another opportunity for Southside Bank to serve the community," Mr. Uzzell said. "Through our partnership with FHLB Dallas and Smith County Habitat, we were able to provide Ms. Barrett with a safer home, which will allow her to live independently for many years to come."