Glade Run Lutheran Services is now in the process of building the first phase of its $30 million, 12-acre housing development project, called the Jeremiah Village.
The organization originally intended the entire neighborhood to be built exclusively for individuals on the spectrum, but after considering how people with autism didn’t want to live in group homes, but rather in diverse communities, Glade Run has decided to build a sustainable neighborhood where residents will be able to contribute to each other, especially to the residents with ASD.
According to Glade Run Foundation Executive Director Shiela Talarico:
“The initial idea was to create housing for adults with autism, but we heard from parents and advocates that they didn’t want to live in a group home; they wanted to live in a regular neighborhood that’s diverse and has a variety of different people there. Just like everybody else.”
Jeremiah Village’s first phase is set to be completed by the Spring of 2017. It comprises of three buildings housing 144 of one and two-bedroom apartments, a community center, a swimming pool, a fitness center, a lounge area, and a classroom.
Eight apartments in each of phase one’s three buildings will be tailored specifically for individuals with ASD. These apartments will be equipped with amenities that cater to the unique sensory needs of individuals with autism, including soothing paint colors and soundproofed walls.
Glade Run hopes to market the rest of the apartments to individuals who are willing to be active members of the community. According to Talarico:
“The people who live in Jeremiah Village will be expected to give back.”
“We’re going to ask all the residents to share their talents. Like if you knit, you could do a knitting class or are a retired accountant (and) could teach people how to balance a checkbook; it could be video games — anything, really.”
Jeremiah Village will also be equipped with a one-acre playground and sensory park for children with autism, with clear walking paths, enclosed with a fence. According to Talarico:
“All kids will enjoy this space… It will enhance our current program offerings and also provide an opportunity for the community to take advantage of a unique offering.”
The village’s $750,000 park is already under construction and is expected to be completed some time in November of this year.
Source: Jodi Weigand in triblive.com Zelienople development to be inclusive of those with autism