Our parking lot and front entrance is in dire need of repair. Parts of the pavement have sunk, leaving other parts sticking up, become a tripping hazard. For a temporary fix, we painted them orange to make them more visible..
Our parking lot is heaving and cracking and crumbling, with large potholes. While most adults can navigate around the potholes, it’s hazardous and unsafe, especially for the kids in our shelter that have to run outside to catch the school bus every morning.
It also hinders our facility’s accessibility, creating difficulty for people that need access to our services. A recent client, who was seeing impaired, was uncomfortable at the shelter, so we put her up in a safe hotel. It’s fairly close to our shelter, so clients can usually walk over and get help with paperwork, eat a meal or just to talk to an advocate.
One particular client was very independent and absolutely hated asking for help, as many of our clients do. She kept reminding us that she was independent. She wasn’t disabled; she was capable of taking care of herself.
Our staff had reservations about letting her walk over to the shelter by herself because we were concerned she wouldn’t be able to navigate the parking lot.
We suggested that one of our staff pick her up, driving her back to the office. She declined, stating, “No that’s OK, I will just stay here and eat some crackers.” She didn’t want to be a burden or receive special treatment.
We did, eventually, convince her to accept a ride, but it was discouraging for both her and us, having to treat her as someone who was disabled: she fought so hard to be independent.