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Manville Family marks sixth award
Trenton, NJThe Christie Administration this week installed another modular ramp as part of its Ramp Rebuild, Replacement and Installation Program, funded by a $2.89 million federal Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), administered through the New Jersey Department of Human Services' (DHS) Division of Disability Services (DDS).
The awardee is Maria Jacot, who lives in Manville, with her husband Peter. Mrs. Jacot uses a wheelchair for mobility.  The new ramp replaces a wooden one that was built for the family by volunteers. During Superstorm Sandy, it sustained structural damage from flooding.


"These grant funds are designed to assist families who, like the Jacots, have been left without a safe way to enter and exit their home as a result of the storm," said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. "The Department of Human Services is proud to be able to assist the Jacots with these funds and install a new ramp for their home.”

DHS began accepting applications for the program in October 2013. More than one hundred inquiries have been received from individuals with disabilities and families living with a person with disabilities who need a ramp repaired, replaced or installed because of Sandy's destruction. The Jacot family is the sixth to receive a ramp.  To date, this program has spent approximately $75,000 of the federal grant funds.

“It is so wonderful to have this new ramp, I love it,” said Maria Jacot. “It saved my life.” 

“Part of my old wooden ramp came down on me and I was lucky I was not seriously hurt,” added Mrs. Jacot. “To have this new ramp, not only helps me, but it also helps my husband, who has difficulty with mobility himself and he assists me to get in and out of the house.”

“The guys who installed the ramp worked all day, even in the snow,” added Mrs. Jacot. “I am so very grateful.”

To be eligible, applicants must provide proof of loss or need, and present a medical certification confirming the presence of a disability that requires a ramp. DDS then dispatches an evaluator to determine whether a ramp can safely be built. Ramp designs are drafted and offered to the recipient for consideration. DDS then sends the schematic out to a list of qualified vendors, selected through RFP, to bid on the construction of the project.

"The ability to get into or out of a residence safely is vital for people with disabilities," said Joseph Amoroso, Director of DDS. "This new ramp will give Maria and her husband mobility independence with a sense of safety and security."

The Ramp Rebuild, Replacement and Installation Program provides modular ramps, which are portable and can cost thousands of dollars depending on the configuration. These custom built ramps are made from metal, wood or fiberglass. Installation can take a few days, or a week, depending on the project specifications.

SSBG funding is crucial to preserving the social services safety net in the areas most impacted by Superstorm Sandy. In the months and years to come, these services will be essential to rebuilding and restoring residents' very basic needs in storm recovery.

Individuals interested in applying for the Ramp Rebuild, Replacement and Installation Program can call DDS at 1-888-285-3036. Ramps will be built for eligible applicants until the funding is exhausted.

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