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Housing Success Story: Kathy Leigh (ROOF Board Member)

After years of preparation, ROOF board member Kathy Leigh moved into a home of her own that was specifically designed to fit her unique needs. 
We recently had the opportunity to speak with with Kathy to discuss her journey to home ownership:


Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: My name is Kathy Leigh. I am a board member for ROOF and a self-advocate for people with developmental disabilities.

I was born in Florida, raised in Charleston, South Carolina and came back down to Florida after my mom passed away from Cancer in 1993.


Q: What brought you to home ownership?

A: I got my first apartment around 1995 and spent the next few years in a few different apartments.

I have a wonderful support system that helped. I learned that SHIP funds were available to help me buy my home and my New Perceptions support helped me fill out the paperwork. I was living in an apartment down the street from my new home as it was being built so I was able to go down and check on the progress.

I was able to move into the home in 2000.


Q: What help did you have making the home accessible?

A: My home was built specifically for me and my disability. Using SHIP funds, I chose a floor plan that would allow my easy access throughout my home.  The entire home is handicap accessible for me and my wheel chair. My chair will roll under the sinks and stove to allow me to wash dishes and to cook.  It allows me to maintain as much of my independence as possible.


Q: Tell us about the house.

A: It is a beautiful two bed/two bath. I use the spare bedroom as an office and craft room. I love doing crafts and playing computer games. Soon I will turn the garage into a large craft room so I have more space for that activity.


Q: What are your favorite parts about your home?

A: I spend most of my time in the living room and dining room. My favorite things to watch are the Tyler Perry shows or The Young and the Restless.

I have a nice backyard and have planted some things, including cabbage that has started growing. There’s a hibiscus in the front yard and it’s just beautiful.


Q: What does home ownership mean to you?

A: I never thought I’d ever own my own home. It’s my pride and joy. I know my mom would be proud of me for doing all of this.

I’ve become an advocate for people with developmental disabilities so that they can find their opportunities to find the perfect home.