Voices of Stephenson County was awarded $5,000 in our 2022 Spring Grant cycle. The grant request is to seek funding for Operation Handrail Replacement, addressing a serious accessibility and safety issue facing VOICES of Stephenson County. The handrails which have rusted at the base, have become unstable resulting in dangerous conditions for all who use them. Under the new project, VOICES will remove the current handrails and replace them with new handrails that would run the length of both the ramp and staircase that lead into the VOICES building. In addition, VOICES will add a guardrail to the outside of the sidewalks to further enhance stability and accessibility for all who enter and exit the building, as well as bringing VOICES into full compliance with ADA regulations. The guardrail is similar to the handrail but is six inches shorter and does not feature the vertical bars found in handrails. The handrail for both the ramp and stairs would run 71 feet total in length. The funds requested are part of a larger project to replace the handrails at all entrances on the VOICES property. We are prioritizing the front entrance because it is the most pressing need and sees the most traffic.