“Habitat for Humanity is a “NEED” for not just us, but for everyone that wants and needs a home, that will take care of their home and that will help others get a home as well.”
James and Paula Diviney started their Habitat for Humanity Journey over two years ago. Their need for a wheelchair accessible home came over 13 years ago. James & Paula both are in power wheelchairs because of medical health problems. James is a disabled vet and had also taught Special Education for several years. His wife, Paula, had a major accident that also put her into a power wheelchair, causing severe pain in her life and many other medical problems. Both Paula and James were forced to go on Social Security Disability, because of the medical problems that they have suffered. It is common for many people that have major medical trauma happen in their life, to also have major financial struggles in their life.
The Diviney’s soon found their selves homeless after the Social Security Administration had made a computer error and had declared James Diviney officially deceased. This had put James and Paula out on the street with no home and very little income as well. From the moment of having homelessness come into their lives, the Diviney’s knew that they had to put their trust in God to help them survive this trauma.
Bill Young (deceased House of Representative) and God and the VA had stepped in and put the Diviney’s on Section 8. The Diviney’s were very thankful for the Section 8 but they found out that they were very limited on the homes that were wheelchair accessible. They were forced to move into a very small home that is not wheelchair accessible. The home they found was the only home that had a door wide enough to allow their two large custom-made power wheelchairs to go through the front door. The problem was the couple could not use their bathroom or take a shower. They could not get their wheelchairs into the kitchen, so they could cook their meals from their wheelchairs. They were also not able to get their wheelchairs into the bedrooms, because the door frames were too small for their custom-made wheelchairs. They ended up having to put their hospital beds (one of them being a custom-made hospital bed) in the living room. The two hospital beds take up the entire living room, leaving no space for a kitchen table, and leaving no room for the family to use their custom-made power chairs in their home at all.
The Diviney’s thought for sure that the house they had to move into, would be a temporary situation. They searched for over 13 years, only to have no success in finding a wheelchair accessible home. The couple’s health continued to get worse. Soon it became clear if they did not make a move quickly, they would be forced to move into assisted living. It is important to know that James & Paula have been fighting for years now to stay out of assisted living. They have caregivers to help them and they have a service dog (Ellie Mae) that also helps them in their life. Still, that has not been enough. They needed a home that will allow them to be free, and allow them to use their power wheelchairs in their home.
How much does freedom cost? Freedom is “PRICELESS”. With very little money, and with a great need, the Divineys knew that the only answer was Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity stepped up in a big way! The Diviney family was overwhelmed and in tears when they were told that they would get a chance to have freedom. It would be their chance to be free and have a home where they would be able to have a bathroom and a shower that they could use. They would have a kitchen where they could cook their meals and have room for a table that could be used. They will have a bedroom that they could get their wheelchairs into where their hospital beds will fit, and still have a living room.
In short, James and Paula Diviney and their adorable service dog “Ellie Mae” will finally get their wheelchair-accessible home. James and Paula Diviney are very thankful and praise God for this huge blessing. What does the “Diviney’s” plan on doing in their future? They plan on helping others find their freedom and help them have a future with Habitat for Humanity as well. For more information on how to apply for the program, visit the Apply Page on our website.
“The Habitat for Humanity program is a selfless gift to others – to help mankind.”
The Diviney Family home was dedicated on November 22nd, 2022.