New Mexico nonprofit builds free wheelchair ramps for those in need
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A New Mexico organization is working to make life easier for people with mobility issues.
For the last couple of years, Greg Hallstrom has been rallying people in communities across the state to build ramps.
“People in walkers have trouble getting downstairs and sometimes they fall, people in wheelchairs sometimes can’t come downstairs,” said Hallstrom.
Hallstrom is the executive director of the New Mexico Ramp Project, an organization created to address this need.
According to the CDC, in New Mexico alone, nearly 289,000 adults have mobility disabilities with difficulty walking or climbing stairs. In the metro, Hallstrom says it’s estimated that more than 77,000 people need ramps.
The challenge is building in rural areas, where it’s more than double the costs for materials post-pandemic.
“Wood prices have gone through the roof, an average 30-foot ramp is running us $2,000,” Hallstrom said.
Hallstrom says their goal is to find volunteers in different parts of the state and train them so that ramps can be built in those communities. He hopes to bring awareness to this issue.
“A lot of people don’t realize how many people are affected by the ability, or inability, to get in and out of their homes. It then actually leads to mental issues, primarily isolation and depression, the elderly specifically,” said Hallstrom.
The group relies on corporate sponsorship to get the ramps made, but private donations from the community as well.
If you need a ramp built at your house or know someone who does, you can contact them and fill out an application. For more information on how to help, visit, the New Mexico Ramp Project’s website.