Building a ramp

Mayor Charlene Lovett pitches in at a volunteer build of an accessibility ramp in Claremont. Most of the volunteers were from Hypertherm, including CEO Evan Smith.

CLAREMONT — COVER Home Repair, a White River Junction-based nonprofit working to repair homes and build community, is celebrating the successful completion of a new accessibility project. With help from volunteers, COVER added a new wheelchair ramp to a home in Claremont.

Mayor Charlene Lovett also volunteered on the job and thanked all the volunteers and the homeowners for the opportunity to work together.

The homeowner was a victim of an accident and requires a powered chair for mobility. However, the house needed an accessibility ramp so he could get in and out safely — the kind of urgent home repair that COVER has done many times before.

COVER, a nonprofit organization, coordinates more than 325 volunteers per year to undertake urgent home repair and weatherization projects in the Upper Valley.

Hypertherm has been a long-time supporter of COVER. In addition to encouraging its associates to volunteer on urgent home repair projects, the company’s HOPE Foundation also provides financial support to help pay for the cost of building materials, tools, and professional oversight.

COVER Director John Heath has designed and supervised the construction of more than 50 accessibility ramps that comply with the American’s with Disability Act. According to COVER Executive Director Bill Neukomm, “COVER projects are really not about the ramp. We believe that when families experience a housing crisis, it’s important for them to know that there are neighbors willing to work with them as partners on the project — in the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors.”

Hypertherm volunteers on this job included Hypertherm CEO Evan Smith, along with associates Travis La Haye, Zeb Mushlin, Mike Scheller, Kim Cooper, and Dick LaPlante in addition to COVER staff Jay Mead and Eliot Crow.

For more information, contact Neukomm at COVER: 802-851-5187.

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