For many families in Northeast Ohio (and beyond) summer is prime vacation time. For North Coast Community Homes (NCCH), summer is another season to be hard at work for families. In addition to completing major projects like new roofs or gutter repairs, NCCH is working hard – at growing.

Earlier this year we shared that we had purchased and renovated a home for four special young men in Lake County. It’s been a great transition for them, and we’ve heard they love their home. But there are many families in in need in the six counties we serve. That’s why NCCH is committed to bringing on at least three more homes in Lake County and another in Cuyahoga County as well.

Four more homes is a big undertaking.

Buying a home is never easy. Buying a home suitable for people with special needs presents some extra challenges.

“Not every home is going to be perfect,” says Karl Driggs, COO of NCCH. “Every family has different needs and we work to find just the right home, so we can accommodate them and have them safe and comfortable.”

In all cases that means a single-story ranch style home, because those are the most wheelchair and walker accessible. The home can’t be too small either.

“Two thousand square feet is about the minimum if we want to ensure there’s room for people to have private spaces and community spaces in the home,” Driggs notes.

Multiple bathrooms are usually in order as well. Finding and purchasing the right home in the right neighborhood is certainly the first obstacle. The next obstacle is ensuring that renovations won’t be too expensive.

In an NCCH home, renovations don’t mean just a fresh coat of paint and maybe a new window or two. Renovations may entail a full bathroom remodel. That work makes it more accessible and can often make the residents a bit more independent in toileting and self-care. NCCH will also install a wheelchair ramp and other accessibility features. It doesn’t stop there, however. Next is fire safety since the team at NCCH is dedicated to ensuring that sprinkler systems and kitchen fire suppression systems are in place – whether they’re required or not!

Sometimes there are additional special considerations.

For the Cuyahoga County Home, one of the challenges was finding a space suitable for four people who are all in motorized wheelchairs. That means sturdy floors that can stand up to hundreds and hundreds of pounds of daily wear and tear. It also means making sure the floor plan is open enough to allow maneuverability.

Why does NCCH do all of this? Because someone has to. Because in order to create a home, the house must meet the needs of the people living there. Because a home has to feel like home, has to feel special and just right for the special people who will be living there.

Because the people at North Coast Community Homes care.