Housing Connection opens 39th house in Springfield OH

Open house for their newest house

On Wednesday, I got the opportunity to celebrate with Housing Connection, Clark County Board of Dev. Disabilities as well as TAC Industries the newest residential house for those with developmental disabilities.  It is located at 284 Buxton Ave. in the near east side of Springfield.  Melanie Bender, Path Coordinator, will be overseeing the house, its three residents and staff, making sure their needs are met.  Melanie told me how her mom helped her decorate – even the night before.  Robin Short, the manager of the Housing Connection, was on hand to give me an interview.  Cliff Meyer, head of TAC Industries, and Jenny Rousculp, head of the Board of MRDD, were also on hand to talk with me about the great things going on in Springfield for those with disabilities.  Last, but not least, Mike Halpin, Director of Community Living Services, gave me the low down on the developments with this house and its significance. 

Housing Connection history

Housing Connection was started in 1993 as an independent 501c3 with the goal of owning and operating quality living options for those with developmental disabilities.  It was an outgrowth of the movement that started in 1990 to separate services from housing.  Prior to that, most if not all options for an adult with DD was to go into a group home.  101 residents are in currently in their facilities, with about 45 more expressing a preference to live in one of their houses.  Housing Connection outsources the day-to-day staffing (people are there 24/7 as the residents need it, but not usually during the work week day as most work) to Flora Group Homes.  Housing Connection itself has 4 employees.

Details about the new house

284 Buxton represents their 39th home and is unique because it is a new home.  Most of the homes in Housing Connection’s inventory were existing homes that were modified for the special needs of its residents (larger bathrooms with handicap accommodations, etc.)  New homes is a relatively new development for the area but is desired because the house is designed to be extremely accessible from the ground up.  For example, the hallways are very wide to allow for easy turning radiuses with a wheelchair.  Another new home on State Street will be number 40. 

The new $110,000 house was made possible by an 80% grant from set-aside capital assistance funds.  The rest of the cost was financed through a 0% loan made possible by the City of Springfield.

The overall system

Mike Halpin explained to me that there are three aspects to the mission of the Clark County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD) – (1) transitional services; (2) adult services; and (3) early intervention (e.g., Help Me Grow).  Community Living Services (CLS) – the part of CCBDD that he directs – gets involved in all three parts of the mission.  All in all, CCBDD serves about 1000 residents in the community.  Housing Connection is not the only housing provider, but it’s the largest.  Also, Flora Group Homes is only one of about 18-20 different agencies that provide the onsite care and meet the daily needs of residents.  If Flora doesn’t perform up to snuff, Housing Connection simply gets another provider. 

>> Pictures from event – http://bit.ly/SEPa7
>> Clark County Board of Developmental Disabilities – www.clarkmrdd.org
>> Housing Connection – eligible tenant .pdf – http://bit.ly/o5EgL
>> Most recent CCBDD newsletter (Paxson Press) – http://bit.ly/uYsu6
>> Google Maps (284 Buxton) – http://bit.ly/13ijEv

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One Response

  1. […] Connection just constructed and opened 39th house this year, a house to assist those with developmental disabilities; additional employees […]

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