Portage Township, Rebuilding Together Portage, UAW team up to build ramp

By: Portage Township Community Outreach & Communications Coordinator Last Updated: September 24, 2019

Patricia Beasley said she got her mobility back thanks to a group of community service-driven organizations.

“I almost feel like they gave me my life back,” Beasley, 71, said of the partnership of the Portage Township Trustee’s office, Rebuilding Together Portage and the UAW/Ford National Community Outreach Program.

The three organizations came together to build a ramp on Beasley’s mobile home, which allows her greater mobility.

Beasley, who suffers from congestive heart failure and COPD, fractured her back last October. While she gets around with the help of a walker, Beasley couldn’t get up and down the stairs which lead to her home.

Last year Beasley was scheduled to have a ramp installed through another organization last year before she fractured her back. However, she volunteered to give up her ramp when it came to her attention there was someone in greater need.

This year, she said, her need was even greater, but the ramp wasn’t available through the original agency.

She turned to the trustee’s office. Staff there facilitated a partnership. Rebuilding Together Portage offered to fund the purchase of materials and the UAW/Ford National Community Outreach Program agreed to send out a construction crew.

The UAW/Ford program consists of members of UAW Local 588 (Ford Chicago Stamping plant) and UAW Local 551 (Ford Chicago Assembly plant). Their mission is to give back to the communities in which union members work and live by working with non-profit organizations to provide ADA compliant wheelchair ramps.

“They did such an outstanding job,” Beasley said of the ramp. “It is almost like a lifesaving tool. The trustee’s office is one of the best things Portage has.

“I feel so much safer in my home because now I know I can safely go down the ramp in an emergency. The one time they put me on a stretcher to carry me out of my mobile home it was very difficult to go down the stairs and be able to turn the stretcher that they use. So I am very thankful for my ramp and for each man that was building on it and helped,” she said, adding she is grateful to all three organizations.