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McKee Homes Partners with Helping A Hero

McKee Homes Partners with Helping A Hero to Build Home for Wounded Army Veteran SGT (Ret) Jonathan Rivenbark

dedication ceremony

Residents of the Legacy Lakes community in Aberdeen, NC, welcomed new neighbors on Tuesday, August 18, when SGT (Ret) Jonathan Rivenbark and his wife moved into their new home. Built by McKee Homes and provided to the Rivenbark family with only a $50,000 mortgage, the home is part of the Helping A Hero program which works with builders, suppliers, landowners and communities nationwide to provide homes for disabled veterans. The Rivenbark residence features wider door openings and hallways, lower counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, zero-threshold entries at showers and exterior doors, and a sidewalk surrounding the home to better accommodate SGT (Ret) Rivenbark’s disabilities and wheelchair.

“We were delighted to be a part of this worthy effort to provide for our nation’s veterans in a manner that honors their service, supports their families, accommodates their continued recovery and assures their independence,” said Pat McKee, president of McKee Homes. Each Helping A Hero home is provided with a minimal mortgage in planned communities where veterans receive ongoing support from neighbors, home owners associations, and other nearby service and veterans organizations. McKee Homes has previously built three adaptive homes for military veterans, though this is the first time we have partnered with Helping A Hero.

McKee Homes contributed $50,000 toward the price of the home through its Joe McKee Memorial Alzheimer’s Fund. They also coordinated well over $200,000 in contributions of labor, material or both from building suppliers and vendors eager to support the project. Developer Mountain Real Estate Capital donated the lot at Legacy Lakes, near Pinehurst. The Dedication Ceremony at which SGT (Ret) Rivenbark and his wife, Yulia, assumed ownership of their home drew a crowd of neighbors, friends and dignitaries, including Lt. Governor Dan Forest and Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.

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McKee Homes Builds Adapted Housing for Aging in Place

“Aging in Place” is a growing trend for those growing older.  Studies, opinion papers, and family conversations around the dinner table all agree that those 65 and older prefer, and will benefit from, staying in homes that accommodate independence and keep them connected to neighbors, friends and all that’s familiar.

To that end, McKee Homes is providing adaptive features in homes that help keep residents from entering institutional long term care facilities as they age.  Many aging in place features are hardly noticeable and are designed to accommodate future modifications or needs.  These can include wider hallways and door openings that can later accommodate a wheelchair; door knobs that are horizontal levers, and therefore more easily grasped by arthritic hands; stacked closets that can later become an elevator shaft; or wall construction with blocking for future railings and grab bars.

“Homes built for aging-in-place are simply more thoughtful about accommodating residents’ needs over time,” says Pat McKee of McKee Homes.  And such features also better serve those who are disabled or recovering from injury.  A zero-threshold doorway or shower entry is aesthetically elegant while also creating no obstacle for those whose mobility may be challenged.

Such features were critical for a home McKee recently built for SGT (Ret) Jonathan Rivenbark, an army veteran who was disabled while serving in Afghanistan.  The 2,300 sq. ft. home featured wider door openings and hallways, lower counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, zero-threshold entries at showers and exterior doors, and a sidewalk surrounding the home to better accommodate SGT (Ret) Rivenbark’s disabilities and his wheelchair.  McKee Homes had previously built three adaptive homes for military veterans.

For more information, please visit our Specially Adapted Housing web page.

special adaptive features for wheelchair access in bathrooms