It was a day of extreme happiness and joy for at least two Corbin people recently. In fact it was more than that, it was a good day for all of those involved in a project to make someone's life better.
Riley Williamson, 35, was handed over the keys to his new home at Bradford Park Open House on Moore Hill in Corbin. It is completely handicapped accessible and even has an extra large bathtub and a kitchen that were tailored to his needs. The look in the young man's eyes were-well it was one of those times when you would have had to be there and witness what words can not describe.
Riley Williamson had attended an Open House previously at Bradford Park with a friend and was impressed with the new steel framed homes.
It was at that open house that he met Jennifer Smith and Paul Dole of KCEOC Community Action Partnership and started questioning them about the possibility of his getting a home tailored to his handicap.
When Riley was twenty-four, he was in a car wreck in Laurel County where he suffered a spinal cord injury, his mother, Irene Williamson said.. Riley has limited use of his left arm, but pretty good use of his right arm.
Irene would unravel her son's story and progress that he has made. It has not been an easy road. "We are blessed that he is alive." Riley is divorced and he has a son, Ryan, who is now 13. "He loves Ryan very much," the proud grandmother said.
She was so very happy. "He wanted not to have to depend on me solely." Riley lived with his mom after the wreck. For the last 3 and half years, he has lived in the Gilbert Apartments that are handicapped accessible, but Riley wanted a home of his own. "He met Jennifer Smith at an open house and being the talker that he is, well it all is just unbelievable. This is a dream for him," Irene said.
"First of all we have to thank the Lord, really that he is here, that is that Riley's here, and we have to thank Paul Dole and Jennifer Smith. We sure are grateful to Paul and Jennifer and Michael Swafford for helping Riley pull this off." Irene said.
Jennifer Smith, who is Vice President of Program Operations, works with property management and special projects. Jennifer was complimentary of the contractor of Riley's new home. Joe Martin of Clay County was the builder of Riley's new home. "He did extra, to make the home workable and his wife, over there, is doing the touch up painting. We try to make sure that the client is happy because this is where they are going to live. Basically, we put together a financial package for him. That is why it took so long. He will have several mortgages on the house-just like anybody else. He is not getting a free house." He went to homeowners counseling and has done everything possible to cooperate with everyone in getting this nice home to live in."
Riley and his mom, Irene, were so happy. Only they know what a journey this has all been.