Fairmont non-profit battles back from June floods with the help of lawmakers, community

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Disability Action Center in Fairmont is closing in on a new location after suffering extensive damage during June flooding. This included damage to the exterior and interior of the building and equipment inside the facility such as computers, workout equipment and the flooding out of the banquet hall.

Due to poor drainage at their existing facility, the decision was made to relocate at an estimated cost of about $750,000.

Since 1958, the center has served disabled members of the community. Today, they serve close to 500 people with disabilities in the community.

A GoFundMe account was established and has raised about $35,000, but state senators Mike Caputo and Bob Beach are working on a plan to substantially raise that amount.

“Senator Beach and I have requested $100,000 each, $200,000 total of discretionary funds to go toward the Disability Action Center to help with this relocation,” Caputo said.

Executive director of the Disability Action Center, Julie Sole said along with senators, many members of the House of Delegates and families have stepped up to help.

“Across the board- everyone- bipartisan has supported this center financially and in their efforts to always draw attention to what we’re doing,” Sole said.

According to Caputo, the money is coming from discretionary legislative funds, not the CARES Act or American Rescue Plan.

“I’m hoping by early fall all the resources will be put together and they’ll be able to relocate,” Caputo said.

The Disability Action Center helps nearly 500 people with various special needs in the region. According to Sole, they also have three on-site partners in the building, Special Olympics of Marion County, the Homstead Farm Center and Playworks Child and Adult Therapies.

“What we’re looking for and what we have found is safe and it is accessible, and it is on a public bus line and it has housing nearby,” Sole said,” And it checked the boxes we needed to get to higher ground.”

In addition to funds from the legislature, a steady stream of donations have come through online fund raising and community donations.

“If you really want to help and you want to write a check to the Disability Action Center and send it to them, that would be tremendous,” Caputo said,” I think there would be donation too small.”