A coalition of community businesses and civic groups, led by the staff at the Paxton Campus, helped a family move into a new home. Through the effort, Linda Huffman and her son Phillip Coe, both with disabilities, will be able to live independently and stay together.
“People with disabilities face tough challenges to live independently with their families in the community,” Paxton Executive Jennifer Lassiter, said. “But when that independence was threatened last year, Linda and Phillip’s community rallied around them to help them overcome those challenges. I’m proud to have been a part of it. Everyone has responded with love and support for this family.”
The family’s plight was brought to Paxton’s attention by Pam Spiering of the Loudoun County Parent Resource Center and Diane Culp, a vocational specialist with Loudoun’s Job Link who also is a member of Paxton’s board of directors. Spiering, a member of the Cornerstone Chapel, had started raising emergency funds for the family, while Culp worked to find housing options.
Jay and Lisa Mattia offered their Leesburg home as temporary housing and while Paxton Campus launched a “campaign to raise much-needed funds to purchase a trailer for the family. The Community Services Board staff and case managers—Roger Younker, Marcus Gill, Blaire Lee, and Christy Childs—helped ensure the family’s needs were met in the meantime.
Coe has been a participant of Special Olympics in Loudoun County and several people from that community donated to the Paxton fund in honor of Phillip. A graduate of Loudoun County High School, he can be seen cheering on the Lady Raiders at basketball games and the team held a fundraiser for the family during one of their games last season. The members at McLean Bible Church of Loudoun also helped the family by providing meals when Huffman was recovering from heart surgery earlier this year. She has recovered and will soon return to work.
Dr. Strickland at Leesburg Veterinary Hospital provided the family’s pets with free vet care while they were displaced and all pets were placed in foster care.
Parker Gallagher, a member of Saint Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, located a home in the Leesburg Mobile Home Park and negotiated the purchase. Then several businesses jumped in to help with renovations. The new skirt siding was made possible by the Leesburg Rotary Club. A&A Heating and Air donated and installed a new HVAC system. Tom Spiering donated labor and materials to build the new wood steps and a new mailbox.
Huffman and Coe moved into their new home in July.
More families are likely to benefit from the effort, which resulted in the creation of the Community Action Team. Made up of representatives from a number of community agencies and organizations, the team meets monthly to discuss ways to collaborate to help individuals with disabilities with urgent needs.