Calling on caring folk to help raise $6,870 for hand modifications to a second hand car for Penny who has a mobility disability and is now house-bound as she can't afford to pay for the vehicle modifications that will allow her to drive.
Penny Leemhuis is an advocate for the right to affordable housing for older women. Penny calls these women OWLS – ie Older Women Lost in Housing, as they are homeless or at risk of becoming so.
Penny, herself an owl, suffered a serious accident some years ago which left her permanently physically incapacitated, severely reducing her employment capabilities and leaving her reliant on a disability pension in order to survive. This made it hard for her to access affordable and secure housing was near impossible.
Recently Penny was fortunate to be offered social housing but she continues to fight for the rights of older women to affordable housing. This has kept her extremely busy while she knocks on the doors of politicians and others who hold the keys to such housing. She is also undertaking a university course on community development so that she may advocate more effectively and perhaps also do some part-time community work.
Penny was in a happy, secure place where she felt she was contributing to her community and able to set goals.
Two months ago, this all unravelled when two things happened to make Penny’s world come tumbling down.
First, her physical condition started to deteriorate rapidly and walking became very difficult to the point where she needed to look at using a walking frame instead of her walking sticks. Then, she was involved in a road accident which destroyed her car on which she was totally reliant for getting around. Cruelly, these two developments conspired to make Penny housebound, dependent on others for food shopping etc, and unable to continue her advocacy work or visit friends.
Realising the importance of her car for her mobility and social inclusion, Penny’s family managed to loan her money for a modest second hand car – but now she needs to find the funds to have the necessary hand controls installed.
Until Penny has these modifications done she will be housebound and unable to get around.
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- Julie Evans
- Rinzin Dema