On Feb. 20, 2012, Hattie Larlham officially opened its 13th supported living home and the first specifically designed to serve adults with autism in Twinsburg at a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony. The organization plans to build more such homes in Northeast Ohio in coming years.
“According to statistics published by the Autism Society, autism is now the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S., with an annual growth rate between 10 and 17 percent. As people with autism and their families age, there is a growing need for safe, comfortable and affordable homes that allow people with autism to live as independently as possible while still receiving the appropriate level of assistance and care,” said Dennis Allen, chief executive officer of Hattie Larlham. “The opening of this supported living home is another way in which Hattie Larlham is expanding its services to best meet the needs of people with autism in Northeast Ohio.”
This home in Twinsburg is one of many initiatives in recent years that County of Summit Executive Russell Pry has been instrumental in helping Hattie Larlham to complete. This home is one of 65 projects that the County of Summit is funding through the $3.7 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “We are pleased to fund this Hattie Larlham supported living home. The new home has structural and design elements that will allow people with autism in Summit County to live more independent, fulfilling lives,” said Russell Pry, County of Summit Executive.
A garage with an indoor wheelchair chair ramp, a sidewalk tapered to a no-step porch, a fully accessible kitchen and a multisensory room are some of the many ways the home ensures people on the autism spectrum will reside in a secure, livable environment, even if they are physically challenged.
In addition to the funding from the County of Summit, Neighborhood Development Services (NDS) administered these funds, becoming integral to the completion of this supported living facility. NDS, whose mission is to revitalize communities, oversaw the construction of the complex. “Where this supported living home now sits was a vacant property. NDS is pleased to be a part of this project especially when the result is that we have the honor of building a quality house which enhances the neighborhood,” said Dave Vaughan, executive director of NDS.
The home is environmentally friendly and has a home energy rating of 66, putting it in the five star category for energy efficiency.
In further keeping with Hattie Larlham’s commitment to sustainability, Hattie Larlham will soon add a covered garden to the property where residents can grow organic produce and flowers for their own use.
This supported living home in Twinsburg currently has space for new residents. Those interested in living in the home can contact Hattie Larlham Program Director Kimberly Bartell at 330-899-0980.