Organization builds first ever handicap-accessible house

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A special project is underway in Independence County.

Habitat For Humanity is working to assist a family in Batesville.

Shalyn Carlile, executive director for Habitat Humanity for Independence County, said they're in the planning stages of building their first ever handicap-accessible home for the King family.

"We have a set of guidelines that we have to follow from Habitat International," she said. "This family fit those guidelines very well. One of the things with Habitat is they have to have a need for affordable housing, and so their need was handicap-affordable housing."

Ecko Hoffman and Tyler King said they were excited and shocked when they received a phone that their application for a new house had been approved.

"I had to take a step back and realize what she had said," Hoffman said. "Cause we prayed…we prayed hard. We were like what are we going to do? We can't buy a home right now. And our rent house…you can make a rent house accessible for handicap  but it's a lot of money."

Hoffman said they needed a handicap accessible house for their one-year old son Easton King.

"At 29 weeks we found out that he had club foot," she said. "And we went to Baptist in Little Rock to see a high-risk doctor, and he confirmed the club foot. He did a whole anatomy scan and told us that he had opened Spina Bifida; which means his spine is completely outside of his body."

The King family said baby Easton also had a brain disorder where his lobes did not separate.

They said baby Easton's condition is typically deadly, but he survived.

"He's obviously here," Hoffman said. "He made it to birth. They told us that he had a 3 percent chance to make it to birth and he made it."

Since the early 2000's, Habitat for Humanity of Independence County has served local families in need of affordable housing.

They organization has currently built six homes in the Batesville area and are excited to place their seventh home on the corner of Pine and Hill Streets.

"For us to be able to provide this family with a handicap accessible home, which they're going to need not immediately but in the future is a really great opportunity for both our organization and for them," Carlile said.

The King family said they're excited and are expecting to move into their new home by December 2018.

"It's like winning the lottery," Hoffman said. " We're very grateful. Getting a house. Being able to have a home that's specially made for him that will be our forever home; and for him to have when he's older. It's just amazing. It's a wonderful opportunity that we're thankful to be apart of."

Habitat for Humanity operates around the globe and has helped build, renovate and repaired more than 600,000 affordable houses.

If you're interested in submitting an application contact Habitat for Humanity of Independence County at 870-793-1999.

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