Texas Ramp Project with volunteers from Taylor Morrison builds ramps for Dallas residents in need


Alberto Ramirez watched as a team of volunteers replaced the three steps on his front porch with a ramp on a cloudy Wednesday morning.

The Texas Ramp Project, a nonprofit dedicated to building ramps for low-income residents, older adults, and people with disabilities, collaborated with the construction company Taylor Morrison to improve accessibility at Ramirez’s home in Oak Cliff, as well as two other houses in Dallas. Ramirez, 45, relies on a black desk chair to get around inside his home because his left leg was amputated and he wears a medical boot on his right foot. His mother takes him to medical appointments, including dialysis treatment, three days a week. But leaving their home had been a struggle due to his limited mobility.

“I am just grateful to whoever talked to him about the ramp. This is life-changing for us,” said Debra Esparza, Ramirez’s mother. Esparza said that at one of her son’s dialysis appointments, a doctor told him about the Texas Ramp Project, and a week later, a person showed up at their home asking them if they were interested in getting a ramp.

The Texas Ramp Project has been building ramps since 1985, starting in Dallas and gradually expanding throughout the state.

Before unloading pressure-treated lumber, hammers and screwdrivers for the project, Don Emmerich, a team leader volunteering with the organization for 18 years, prayed for it to be completed successfully and thanked the volunteers. “Helping people who really need it, like him, is one of the few things that we can do in half a day that has a profound impact on people’s lives,” said Emmerich. Emmerich and another leader from Texas Ramp Project guided a group of six Taylor Morrison volunteers in how to build the ramp. “Community giving is very important to us as an organization,” said Tom Cawthon, Dallas division president at Taylor Morrison. “And to help especially the elderly, or the needy where the community needs it most is so important to us.”

A third party needs to recommend a person for a ramp, such as doctors, social workers and pastors, he said. The nonprofit relies on companies, churches, student groups and individuals who volunteer to complete the projects statewide all year around. Taylor Morrison provided 18 volunteers on Wednesday at the three locations. This is the second year they have partnered with the Texas Ramp Project.

“It is just really helpful to come out and get back to people and make sure they have a safe environment so that they can get in and out of their homes,” said Lexy Templeton, who, along with the financial fellows from Taylor Morrison, worked on Ramirez’s ramp.

Dallas Morning News, story by María Ramos Pacheco, Dallas Morning News Local Government Reporter, 5:30 AM on Oct 26, 2023

Photos by Juan Figueroa / Staff Photographer, Dallas Morning News, October 25, 2023