July 31, 2023

Mascotte _– A local veteran will have an easier time entering and exiting his home now, thanks to a joint project between Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter and United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties’ Mission United division.

Staff members from Habitat and UWLS built an access ramp Monday morning at the home of Donald and Iris Bottoms of Mascotte.

Donald, 93, reached out to Mission United for help getting a ramp to help him with his mobility issues. Mission United Coordinator Tracey Schoonmaker reached out to Habitat, and the two organizations agreed to split the nearly $4,000 cost.

Donald was not home during the installation, but Iris was there to witness the new ramp’s arrival and welcome the workers.

Mission United is a United Way program dedicated to providing support and resources to local veterans, active-duty service members and military families. More than 52,000 veterans call Lake or Sumter County home, and many struggle with navigating a complex system of services and finding their place in the community. Mission United is a collective effort that identifies gaps and creates systemic change in the area of health-care access, education, and stability assistance.

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties serves needs in the areas of income, education and health in both counties. UWLS facilitates and delivers a number of direct programs and services, and it provides grants and support that fund programs for more than 20 partner agencies and non-profits.

In addition to its standard mission of “bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope,” Habitat Lake-Sumter has been a leader in innovation to build a more stable and sustainable future for homeowners and the community. It proudly serves local Veteran residents through their Veterans Housing Initiative, ensuring Veterans in Lake and Sumter Counties have the safety and accessibility that everyone deserves at home.