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November 07, 2008

Safe at Home Program Builds Wheelchair Ramp at San Marcos Woman’s Home

SAN MARCOS, Texas—The "Safe at Home" program at Texas State University-San Marcos, under the joint cooperative PRAXIS, began a wheelchair ramp build on Friday, for San Marcos resident and Safe at Home client Yolanda Alvarez.

Texas State student volunteers from the Healthcare Administration department, under the supervision of Seth Lawhead of Lawhead General Contacting, constructed the ramp at 348 Shelley Lane. McCoy's Building Supply donated all the materials for the project.

"The team at McCoy's first introduced me to the project," Lawhead said. "They donate the materials every year and the San Marcos store manager, Randy Haas, asked me if I would step in when the contractor the university had been working with had to bow out. That was seven years ago. This is a great project, and I'm happy to donate my time and resources to such a worthy cause."

Alvarez had stairs leading up to the front and back doors of her home. She has suffered from impaired mobility for nearly eight years.

"My grandmother walks better than I do and she turned 94 on Wednesday," Alvarez said. "I have to walk down [the stairs] with a cane, and I’ve fallen down a couple of times. My sister told me about Safe At Home."

Safe at Home is a volunteer program, grant funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Texas Long Term Care Institute, aimed at reducing the risk of death and injury from falls in the home. The program focuses on people who are at high risk for falls, mainly elderly and disabled members of the community.

Program volunteers visit homes of community members weekly to see what minor repairs need to be made to make the home safer. Typical repairs include removing clutter from hallways, installing smoke detectors, installing grab bars in bathrooms, applying slip resistant adhesive in bathtubs and showers, as well as numerous other safeguards.

The program culminates with an annual large-scale build, such as a disability access ramp.

"This ramp means the world to me," Alvarez said. "Anybody who needs the help should ask for the help."

Safe at Home is self-sustaining non-profit organization, operating on donations from members of the community. Contributions from volunteers and organizations such as McCoy's Building Supply make projects such as building a wheelchair ramp possible.

For more information about making a donation, or if you have someone you'd like to refer to the free program, please contact student program director, Teresa Smith by calling (512) 396-4222.

For more information about Lawhead General Contracting, visit To learn more about McCoy's, visit

About McCoy's
Founded in 1927, McCoy's is a retail building supply company providing a complete array of building materials and services to its customer base of those who are "born to build." The San Marcos, Texas-based McCoy's employs more than 2,000 people and operates 84 stores in five states, including Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The company can be found online at