Thank You For Helping Make 2018 A Success
Dear members, allies and friends of Living Hope:
We hope this post finds you doing well, with lots of power, peace and hope your heart and ready to take a moment to look back at what we faced and accomplished in the year 2018 and to look forward to challenges and opportunities awaiting for us in 2019.
This year has been both challenging and fruitful for all people and communities trying to live with dignity while working to build a more just society. As an organization formed and lead by immigrants with disabilities, we know first hand about the everyday impact anti-immigrant and anti-poor policies have in our communities: less resources and more barriers to access health care which translates in longer waiting times at the emergency room or for medical appointments; reduced access to pain medication or physical therapy and higher costs for public services like transportation. Growing repression against immigrants means more stress and fear, more detention and deportation of our members and families; more death at the border or in the migrant route.
This year we lost one of our dear members. Just as we finished rebuilding his Hurricane Harvey damaged wheelchair ramp, Armando, El Borrado, passed away. He left us sad but at the same time inspired. Despite all the suffering he experienced through his life, first as a very young refugee from the U.S. sponsored civil war in El Salvador, then as an immigrant worker in the U.S., later as someone with a spinal cord injury and finally as someone affected by the hurricane, he never lost a profound sense of dignity, joy and solidarity. It is in this spirit that we share with you our main accomplishments of our work in 2018.
Our Areas of Work
Access to Medical Supplies and Equipment Program
Distributed an estimated $109,865 in medical supplies and $28,150 in Durable Medical Equipment for a total of $138,015 to our members or to immigrants but also to a growing number of U.S. citizens that are poor and do not have access to medical insurance.
We advocate for better services and policies with the Harris Health system.
Distributed 3,320 MetroLift tickets and $1,900 for gasoline cards which are essential to support the mobility and independence people with disabilities need to access opportunities and services needed to live with dignity. We have also worked with and advocated with Metro for better services for people with disabilities.
We made 89 visits to hospitals or homes to recently injured immigrants or to members of our group who were sick, making sure they know they are not alone making them feel included and valued.
Our Harvey Recovery Program helped more than 300 people and disbursed over $100,000 to support their recovery efforts.
Our small revolving loan fund was able to provide short term loans for families facing emergencies such as death of a loved one, detention or incarceration of a family member or even urgent car or home repairs.
Culture is what keeps us going. We have ongoing guitar classes where the participants then are able to perform at our events.
All these programs have a direct impact in the quality of life of our members and at the same time are part of our organizing efforts to document and transform systems that exclude our communities. We are working hard with our team, members, volunteers and allies to resist repressive policies, transform systems that exclude us and build alternatives that are inclusive, efficient and respectful of dignity. We believe that human needs are human rights and we are very excited to take advantage of the opportunities for change that the midterm elections brought to our county and region.
2019 promises to be a very intense year too; political storms and battles will continue and may even get worse while the current administration continues its efforts to impose policies that take away rights from immigrants, refugees, people with disabilities, women, workers, youth, lgbtq people and any other group that does not fits their narrow definition of who deserves to be included and supported in our society.
Yet, we are not afraid, we have our strong faith with roots in many spiritualities and traditions, we have a deep memory reminding us that we have been through difficult times in the past and we have a clear vision of a future with equity and inclusion; and more than ever, here and now, we have each other: a growing community of hands, minds and hearts building power so that All People Can Have All Rights.
Finally, we’d like to thank the foundations, organizations and donors for your support in 2018! Let’s keep going together in 2019! Please consider us in your year-end donations by DONATING HERE
The Living Hope Wheelchair Association Team