April 7th 2022 – SNN News
SARASOTA (WSNN) – There’s a great demand for housing for adults with special needs. And now there’s a resource available for them.
“When I’m gone, cause that’s every special needs parent’s biggest fear is, ‘what happens when I die?” Kelly Askerud whose daughter lives on campus said. “I know my child will have a safe haven.”
Askerud’s daughter, Mackenzie Holland, lives on The Haven’s 32-acre campus. Currently, the organization has six group homes for adults with disabilities.
“It’s really, we want to get the word out there that there is this population of people that are fully capable that need support and we’re able to provide it for them,” The Haven’s President/CEO Brad Jones said.
The Haven is one of only a few facilities in the country to have a place for residents to live and work in one spot.
“This is the first generation of adults with disabilities that are outliving their parents,” Jones said. “They’re getting great care, great social interaction, they’re having longer and longer lifespans.”
And now, they are expanding. Thursday, the organization held a groundbreaking for two new homes – Brad’s Place & Michael’s House.
This is a dream come true for The Haven’s President, Brad Jones. He says he wanted to create a group home with the medical resources to care for adults with disabilities who may get Alzheimer’s/Dementia.
“Now they’ll be able to age in place with their family and friends and hopefully live a longer and healthier life,” Jones said.
This is a project Jones has been working on for about three years.
“We have a waiting list of around 200 people just for our residential program,” Jones said.
These new homes will free up 16 spaces for people to live in. The residents will have an opportunity to live in a home, and 24/7 care.
“To educate them on doing their laundry, cooking and all the household chores that we all take for granted that they need help doing more independence,” Jones said.
Jones says living at The Haven will also improve their social health.
“They don’t get that at other places,” Jone said. “So they can walk down the street and swim in the pool or go hang out at the friend’s house down the road. It’s really like a college campus for them,”
In the past, The Haven would have to transfer the senior adults to a nursing home or an assisted living facility when they reached a certain age. But now they don’t have to.
“I know she’s safe,” Askerud said. “I know she has a family here.”
The first home is expected to be finished in November.