BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOX) – The Gary Sinise Foundation broke ground Tuesday on a custom smart home for paralyzed Ballwin police officer Mike Flamion.
Not only will it be a blessing for the officer, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a shooting last summer — it marks the beginning of a new era for the foundation.
Up until now, the Foundation’s RISE (Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment) Program has built homes for paralyzed veterans. This will be the first built for a law enforcement officer.
Program operations director Scott Schaeperkoetter says one key design feature is an open floor plan.
“Wide open spaces for him to move freely from kitchen, to living room, to bedroom. He has access to all parts of his home. Right now, he doesn’t have that,” Schaeperkoetter says.
The roughly 3,000-square-foot home. will also feature the latest technology.
“They’ll be able to control everything from an iPAd,” says foundation spokesman Chris Kuban, “from changing the stations on the TV, to looking at the security system at who’s at the front door to even opening the front door.”
The home will be furnished by Shubert Design Furnishings, which was honored Monday along with the foundation with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.
It was Jim Shubert who convinced the foundation’s board to expand its mission to build and adapt homes for paralyzed veterans to include wounded law enforcement officers.
During Monday’s ceremony, Flamion thanked the foundation, saying, “I’m honored to have the Sinise Foundation step in and help us have a house that I’ll be able to function in.”
The home should be completed by the end of the year.