Seymour volunteers to build home for veteran, disabled wife

Seymour volunteers to build home for veteran, disabled wife

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Jim and Denise Ipsen's home in Seymour is in disrepair and the couple is unable to afford the costs to fix it. Jim and Denise Ipsen's home in Seymour is in disrepair and the couple is unable to afford the costs to fix it.
When word got around the Seymour community about the home's condition, members of the LIVE-IT organization stepped in. When word got around the Seymour community about the home's condition, members of the LIVE-IT organization stepped in.
The floors are caved in. The floors are caved in.
There are holes in the bathroom ceiling. There are holes in the bathroom ceiling.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

SEYMOUR (WATE) - A Sevier County humanitarian organization based is building a home for a local veteran and his disabled wife.

Jim and Denise Ipsen's home in Seymour is in disrepair and the couple is unable to afford the costs to fix it.

Their home sits on cinder blocks. The floors are caved in and there are holes in the bathroom ceiling.  

To make matters worse, Denise has suffered four strokes in the past several years. 

"She just has a hard time unless somebody is with her," Jim said. "She's turning to get around the corner and has fallen down three or four times this week alone."

When word got around the Seymour community about the home's condition, members of the LIVE-IT organization stepped in. 

The faith-based organization helps mostly the elderly and disabled with home repairs, but will build a new home for Jim and Denise Ipsen. It will be the first home the organization will build in Sevier County. 

"It's just mind-boggling. I never expected this at all," said Jim.  

Demolition work on the home will begin sometime next week, with the build starting on August 5.

The goal is to have volunteers build the new home in just five days. So far, close to 300 people have pledged to help.  

The organization says the project is intended to make others return the favor and generosity back to their fellow community members.

"The only thing we ask is that they live it forward, and that's our version of "pay it forward" where as if someone comes to help you in need, you go help someone else in need. It's just an exceptional effect," said Jeff Hayes, with LIVE-IT. 

The new home will be handicap-accessible for Jim's wife and more energy efficient.  

Ipsen says he's already felt the community support.  

"All the sudden I see plans, and people coming up to me and saying I own a sheetrock company, I'll do your sheetrock," said Ipsen.  

LIVE-IT has completed 300 smaller projects since the organization started in 2010. 

The budget for the Ipsen home build is around $50,000.

LIVE-IT has partnered with the Seymour Heights Christian Church and Home Depot Foundation, but sponsors and volunteers are still needed.  

If you are interested in helping you can sign up online on the organization's web site.

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