Safety First, Thanks to CILNCF

The ramp built for Womber Hill in Brooker, Florida.

Womber Hill, of Brooker, Florida, lived in a house with a crumbling back porch and a dangerously uneven back door frame. Womber has poor balance and lives by herself, and as a result she often fell while exiting her dangerous back door and accumulated many scrapes and scratches.

The Center for Independent Living coordinated with Amwake Home Improvement to provide Womber with accessible home modifications which were completed on March 23, 2019.

Benjamin Amwake and a student volunteer from Santa Fe College revamped Womber’s porch, cleaned her yard and built her an accessible ramp. Womber is now able to safely navigate in and out of her home, and the freezer, refrigerator and hot water heater that she kept outside are now safely braced thanks to the new porch.

“Blood, sweat and tears [put into these projects] are more valuable to us than money,” said Mark Brisbane, coordinator of the ramp program at CILNCF. “That’s just rewarding.”

Construction of ramp enables woman to live life in the sunshine again

Cynthia Hill on her new ramp at her home in Live Oak, Florida.

Cynthia Khalsa, of Live Oak, Florida, had “no way in or out of her house” as a result of Stage 4 Bone cancer in her left hip- that is, until the Center for Independent Living got involved.

Before the Center built her a ramp, Cynthia relied on Alachua County Fire Rescue to physically lift her in and out of her home. She would call 911, request lift assist, and wait, she said. Fire rescue would lift her and her wheelchair out of her house, sometimes unavoidably bumping her body against the steps and causing her immense pain. She would go to a medical appointment (the only time she could use this assistance from Fire Rescue), and then have to endure the entire cumbersome process again when she came home.

On March 16, 2019 the Center for Independent Living coordinated with Custom Design Renovations to build Cynthia a ramp out of her house, empowering her to come and go as she pleased. The construction of the ramp has enabled Cynthia to live more independently and to take control over her everyday life.

“I cannot begin to tell what a blessing your organization has been to me,” she said. “This ramp will give me the freedom to even just get out in the sun for a bit.”

Introducing: the CILNCF Intercultural Latin Group!

Do you want to try delicious Brazilian snacks, enjoy live Brazilian music, and hear from guest-speaker Welson Tremura, a professor of music at the UF Brazilian Music Institute and co-director for Jacaré Brazil, a Brazilian music ensemble?

Join us at the Center for Independent Living tomorrow, April 11, at 5 p.m. as we kick off our Intercultural Latin Group at the CIL!

This new group was started to reach out to Hispanic/Latinx people with disabilities and to “create a new community,” according to Nicolli Sorice, the event organizer and Hispanic Outreach Core Specialist at the Center.

We hope to see you there!

CIL receives new craft supplies and interview clothing

The CIL, and several other organizations in the community, had the pleasure of participating in a free shopping day at the Junior League of Gainesville Thrift Shop due to its official closure.

We left with several bags of interview clothing and craft supplies that will surely benefit our consumers.

Thank you to the Junior League for your generosity and commitment to making a positive impact on the community!

Help the Center win $1,000 this month!

One small click each day could have an enormous impact on empowering those with disabilities.

Every month, the Center for Independent Living is eligible to be SunState Federal Credit Union’s “Charity of the Month” – and to receive a donation of $1,000.

All it takes is a vote on Facebook to get started. Visit, scroll down the page and click on the “Charity of the Month” tab, locate the CIL icon, and cast your vote.

Facebook users can cast one vote every day, each day of the month. The charity with the most votes at the end of the month will receive a $1,000 donation and be profiled in SunState Federal Credit Union’s Our Town Magazine.

Charities are also eligible for a randomly selected $500 donation. The more votes received each month, the better the chance of receiving that month’s $500 donation.

This April, remember to set an alarm, post a sticky-note reminder, and vote for the Center for Independent Living for “Charity of the Month”!