Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) is a publicly funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives. These homes have over 40 special adaptations including wider halls and doorways for wheelchair access; roll under sinks, stove tops and counters; pull-down shelving, and roll-in shower with digital temperature controls.
HFOT works with experienced custom-home general contractors local to the project site to coordinate building the homes. The home design enables the Veteran to do a 360 degree turn in a wheelchair anywhere in the house.
One local recipient of a new home, completed by W.B. Homes, Inc., was U.S. Army Corporal Kevin McCloskey, who along with his wife Bridget, moved into their Upper Southampton Township home in January 2019. Kevin was driving in a convoy with the 506th Infantry Regiment in Afghanistan on June 8, 2008 when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. His body sustained the majority of the blast when he swerved his vehicle to try to avoid a pressure board. Kevin lost both his legs, sustained vision loss in his right eye, burns all over his body, and a traumatic brain injury.
Once home, Kevin underwent 30 surgeries at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. When Kevin left the hospital, he went back to his Philadelphia home where he experienced many challenges trying to maneuver around his home. In his previous home, there were steps leading to the front door, and narrow hallways making it impossible for him to use his wheelchair. The new home has restored his freedom and independence, and he is now able to do routine tasks around the house. He is also able to make meals for himself and his wife Bridget from his wheelchair with the newly accessible appliances. During his recovery, Kevin developed an interest in the sport of golf, which he says has helped him physically and emotionally. He is helping other Veterans and amputees learn and relearn golf though the Eastern Amputee Golf Association’s First Swing Clinic. He also accepted a position with the PGA Helping Our Patriots Everywhere (HOPE) Program. This organization introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enrich their over-all well-being.
Carroll Engineering Corporation was contacted by W.B. Homes to assist with a stormwater problem. The originally designed stormwater management rain gardens were ponding. We performed a site visit to evaluate the current site conditions and the failing rain gardens and worked with the township engineer to devise a plan for success. We designed a new stormwater management system by utilizing dry wells and enlarging the area footprint. We used stone as the media, and graded the wells to allow drainage verses the ponding that was occurring. We installed vented cleanouts to ensure the system flows can be maintained. We replaced the existing dome grates/covers with vented grates/covers at all cleanout locations on the existing pipe runs. The project turned out to be a great success.