By Stan Friedman
GRAND RAPIDS, MI (December 11, 2012) – Construction of a second enabling residence on the campus of Covenant Village of the Great Lakes is expected to be completed in March 2013 and open to residents in June.
Six high-functioning developmentally disabled women will live at Hope House, which will be operated by Covenant Initiatives for Care (CIC). Faith House, an enabling residence for men, was opened on the campus last February.
The seven-bedroom, seven-bath, ranch-style home will mirror and be located next to the first residence, says Ron Dixon, associate vice-president of outreach ministries for Covenant Ministries of Benevolence, which oversees CIC.
It includes a spacious family room, a completely outfitted kitchen, a two-car garage, and a backyard deck. The lower level has a two-bedroom apartment for live-in managers, who are available day and night. Residents live together, yet independently, in a supportive structure.
Hope House residents will enjoy the same 40-acre wooded campus as Covenant Village’s senior adult, and residents can access many of the community’s facilities as well. Covenant Village also offers its Faith House neighbors intergenerational, volunteer, and work opportunities.
The second home bears other similarities to the first. Separate $500,000 Federal Home Loan grants are helping fund both projects. The CIC track record of operating excellent enabling residences made obtaining the grant easier, Dixon says.
Donated labor and materials also have been critical, Dixon adds. Construction expenses, a handicapped-accessible vehicle, and other startup costs will total $860,000, Dixon says.
Despite an overwhelming need, only a limited number of residences for developmentally disabled adults exist, and wait lists are long. “As longevity increases in our society, the needs of a growing population of developmentally disabled adults far exceed the resources available—and those that are available tend to be secular in nature,” according to the Covenant Enabling Residences of Michigan website.
The Covenant Enabling Residences seek to provide a safe, caring environment for high-functioning developmentally disabled adults. Individualized, carefully monitored programs challenge residents to reach their potential through education, training, and the development of social skills.
In addition to Faith House, Covenant Enabling Residences of Michigan also oversees Mary’s House and Joseph’s House in Muskegon. One provides a residence for women and the other a place for men.
Applications for potential residents may be sent to Faith House, 340 Thornridge Drive NW, Grand Rapids, MI 48504.
The first Covenant residence for adults with developmental disabilities opened near Chicago in 1994. CIC operates homes in three states. One is an intermediate care residence; the others offer supportive independent living services.
There are now six Covenant Enabling Residences in three states.