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New Enabling Residence Opens in Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (March 22, 2011) – Six residents are now living at the newest Covenant Enabling Residence for high-functioning handicapped adults, which opened here last month.

Known as Faith House, the 7,243-square-foot home in Grand Rapids is located on the campus of Covenant Village of the Great Lakes. It is the first enabling residence to be situated on the same site as a Covenant Retirement Community. Covenant Ministries of Benevolence (CMB) operates the enabling residences.

“We are thankful for the support we received from people in the Grand Rapids area,” says Ron Dixon, CMB associate vice president/national director of special needs housing. “And we are grateful to Covenant Village for donating the land and for welcoming our residents into their beautiful community. We hope this is just the first Covenant Enabling Residence we open in the Grand Rapids area.”

Covenant Village donated a little more than half an acre to build the seven-bedroom, seven-bath, ranch-style home. 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 mangers, who are available day and night. Residents live together, yet independently, in a supportive structure.

Faith House residents can enjoy the same 40-acre wooded campus as Covenant Village’s senior adults. Faith House residents can access many of the community’s facilities as well. Covenant Village also offers its Faith House neighbors intergenerational, volunteer and work opportunities.

First Covenant Church in Grand Rapids has been a driving force behind the home’s development. Cindy Owen suggested the idea for Faith House after she and her husband, Tim, began searching for group homes for two of Tim’s brothers, who are twins with special needs. The Owens also have a son with Down syndrome.

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.

About the Author

  • Marianne Peters is a freelance writer, master gardener, and environmental educator. She lives in Plymouth, Indiana with her husband, two teenage daughters, and two mischievous ginger cats called Fred and George (after the Weasley twins of Harry Potter fame). From 2008-2013 she wrote the Creation Care column for Covenant Companion magazine. In 2011, her family decided to downsize by half, a decision that led to the publication of her book Declutter for Good: Share Your Life and Reclaim Your Life. She blogs about green living and gardening at www.freshwordswriting.com.

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