Community project builds ramp for Highland Park girl

Jewish Family Service provides free ramp at home for wheelchair-bound 4-year-old

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. - Getting out the door has never been easy for Sharmell Graves and her 4-year-old daughter, Alyiah.

Alyiah was born blind and suffers from cerebral palsy. She gets around in a wheelchair.

"It can be a back breaker getting her down the steps for me and my sister," Graves said.

But the sounds of electric saws, nail guns and sledge hammers on Thursday were music to the family's ears.

"It bring a whole lot of convenience, easy access for me and Alyiah to get out," Graves said. "It's real nice."

Jewish Family Service is trading the stairs at Alyiah's home for a wheelchair-friendly ramp.

Michelle Malamis helped start the project, which is fueled by volunteers who make home repairs for those who need it.

"Within a few hours we come in, we put it up, we leave and their life is better," Malamis said.

Home Depot provided the supplies for the ramp and Elder Living Construction brought the labor.

"Her life is easier, my life is easier. It's so much better," Graves said.

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