Help Mike & Finn Keep Their Home
My name is Mandy, I am a certified Health Care Aide and I am writing on behalf of a client of mine. His name is Mike Hambly. Mike has been my client for over 2 years now and has become a dear friend. He has been through so much in his life and has helped so many people but now he needs your support.
In 1994 Mike was in a motor vehicle accident that has left him completely blind and paraplegic. His T-9 was crushed due to the impact as well as his facial structure. That is how he lost his vision. He went through countless surgeries and had years of therapy. Although it was hard, he managed to always keep a smile on his face and stay positive.
Once he was released from the hospital and tried to return to his life as normal as possible he got his diploma in Social Work. Any area you can think of he’s helped. He has helped hundreds of people with disabilities get on various funding sources and people with addictions and abuse survive.
You may not know that Calgary has no accessible housing at this time and there will be nothing available until 2018. Mike lives in his own home that is accessible for him but his funds are running out. With no help out there he will soon be homeless. His home has made his life easier for both of his disabilities. He needs to stay in his home not only for his disabilities but for a number of other reasons. For example his service dog Finn has an area to run and play on his time off. Mike also operates two small businesses out of his home, Braille It! and Build It! for a source of income as job stability is very challenging in Alberta's tough economy. He lost his job over 3 and half years ago due to cut backs and hasn’t found work since. He's in the process of getting AISH because funds are low. His home is equipped with many audio devices including a talking security system that tells him if doors or windows are open for his safety. His home has been his sanctuary for over 12 years and he doesn’t want to lose it and become homeless.
Now you’re probably wondering why Mike is asking for help to stay in his home all of a sudden. With the downturn in the Alberta economy, there are no job opportunities for fully blind and paraplegic people in Calgary.
Mike is all about helping others so he wants to take his own situation of keeping his home to be able to provide accessible housing for one or two other people who are in need as there is nothing else out there. Mike is also a man on a mission. He has a huge drive to make other changes in Alberta and to have more accessible housing for others. First tho, he needs a place to live before he can make big changes to the world.
So please, let’s give to this man who has given to so many others, before he loses everything and ends up becoming homeless. I know he will be forever grateful for your help.
Thank you for taking the time to read Mike's story.
We decided to lower our goal to $66,000. If we can reach the $66,000 goal, this will be the basic amount to help Mike keep his accessible house.
We are currently a little over 15% with our new goal and the support of 57 people! This is amazing! So please forward this to your contacts and let's get the word out there!
Thanks and Happy Easter,
So if you could help out in any way even just passing his story along that would be great!
Have a great weekend!
Blind, paraplegic Calgarian who needs accessible housing thanks Good Samaritan
By Colleen Underwood, CBC News
Mike Hambly says he has a lot to be grateful for since CBC first shared his story last fall. But the reality is that he could still be forced onto the street.
"I guess until I know I am staying here I will be worried," says Hambly.
Hambly, who was left blind and paraplegic after a car accident, lives in his retrofitted wheelchair-accessible home in the southeast community of Erin Woods.
He was living there with his wife until they separated last year. He was hoping to buy her out, but he hasn't been able to get a bank loan because he doesn't make enough money.
And he hasn't been able to find a place to rent, he says, because of a lack of affordable, accessible housing in this city.
That's the story Andre Mamprin heard on CBC Radio while eating his breakfast one morning last October.
"I just thought it was incredibly moving and wanted to see if I could do anything through my network, my colleagues, my work, all of it, to create some momentum, to compel people to help him out," said Mamprin, a management consultant.
"I've been really blessed in my career and my health and everything, and it's an opportunity to give back and do something for someone else."
Mamprin immediately called CBC News to find out how to reach Hambly. Since then, Mamprin has been helping Hambly out, financially and emotionally.
"I've got a friend now. I mean, he phoned me up to wish me a Merry Christmas and say hey, how are things going? He cares," said Hambly.
Mamprin says his goal is two-fold, to help Hambly stay in his home and find work.
"He's at a big disadvantage in my view, but since I've met Mike I've come to learn that he's amazing. He doesn't expect anything from anyone. He's self-sufficient. He wants to contribute. He created some Braille cards for me."
Hambly runs a small businesses out of his home called Braille It. He also does woodworking in his garage. Before that he had been working in the field of social work.
Lack of housing 'has to change'
Hambly's life has changed considerably since that day in October. He's not only found a friend and champion in Mamprin.
But he also started receiving government support through AISH and Canadian Pension Plan Disability. He's also set up a GoFundMe account, with the help of his health care aide, Amanda Patterson.
"I wrote it and it's basically just about what happened to him in his life.... and how the city of Calgary doesn't have any housing for anyone, let alone for people with disabilities."said Patterson.
Hambly says once he's able to secure a home for himself, he plans to shift gears and start advocating for others struggling to find accessible housing.
"I have a passion to keep going with this. I'm not the only person in this city that's needing housing," said Hambly.
"I mean there's 23-year-old kids that have a spinal cord injury that are living in nursing homes. There's a young fellow that I heard that's been laying in a hospital bed for six months because there's nowhere for him to go. That has to change."
As we move into the Christmas season we think of happiness, loved ones and joy. We also try to help others that are less fortunate. Please help us to continue to get this campaign out there and noticed. We can do this!
Thank you so much,