Leaders at IFB Solutions are showing their support for IFB employee Alanna Richardson and her husband by helping provide some “sweat equity” hours during her home’s wall build. Working at a social distance at Habitat’s Construction Technology Center, the team will help construct the walls that will later be transported to the Richardson home site.
Alanna, who is blind, has worked at IFB Solutions since 2015. She and her husband have long dreamed of owning their own home. Earlier this year, they applied for and were accepted into Habitat’s “Homeowners in Progress” program which requires 300-400 “sweat equity” hours through volunteer hours at Habitat before they can purchase a home. Additionally, Alanna and her husband attended a series of classes about subjects such as homeownership, maintenance, and financial management.
George Redd, Habitat for Humanity director of program services, said materials about the Habitat program were provided to Alanna in Braille. Habitat staff members read the class materials aloud to a recorder. After listening to the recordings, Alanna was given oral tests on the material. “Alanna was wonderful to work with because of her outgoing personality,” Redd said. “It was important to us to adapt our program so she could be successful and also pave the way for other future homeowners who may be blind or visually impaired.”
“Our mission at IFB Solutions is to help people who are blind or visually impaired live full and independent lives through employment, training and services,” said IFB Solutions President and CEO David Horton. “What better way to live out this mission than by joining Alanna and her husband as they realize their dream of homeownership through this fantastic program at Habitat for Humanity.”
ABOUT IFB SOLUTIONS
IFB Solutions is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1936 that provides employment, training and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of people who are blind in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to operating nearly 20 office supply stores across the country and producing mattresses. IFB produces eyewear under its Twenty200 brand at its Winston-Salem lab and operates a retail location in Winston-Salem. IFB Solutions funds employee training and services as well as community programs through grants and private donations, making possible summer camps, afterschool programs and activities for children who are blind, and Community Low Vision services through its low-vision Centers across North Carolina and in Little Rock, Ark. ifbsolutions.org.
ABOUT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County works to eliminate substandard housing and revitalize communities through new construction, renovations and repairs to single-family homes. Families accepted into the program perform 300-400 hours of “sweat equity,” including working on the homes of other families and their own, and complete a series of classes about topics such as financial literacy and home maintenance. They purchase the home from Habitat through a low-interest mortgage, and their payments help fund future houses for more homeowners. Habitat’s repair program makes critical repairs and aging-in-place modifications to existing homeowners in its target neighborhoods.
Since its founding in 1985, Habitat Forsyth has built, renovated or repaired 500 homes. More information about Habitat is available at habitatforsyth.org.