September 07, 2007
The Center Opens Group Homes for Mentally Retarded Adults

The following is a press release from the Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation:

The Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation, a nonprofit agency committed to offering its clients opportunities for personal growth, is opening three group homes for adults in Houston.

The Center already provides assisted yet independent living opportunities for more than 200 adults at its Cullen Residence Hall on West Dallas Street. It has not administered group homes since before that facility opened in 1974.

"Our reasons for establishing these homes now are twofold," explained The Center's executive director, Eva Aguirre. "First and foremost, it enables us to offer more clients even greater prospects for individual choice, self-reliance and independence. Also, the allocation of more government funding through the Home and Community Services program makes this life choice accessible to more adults with developmental disabilities."

Funded by Medicaid, Home and Community Services (HCS) programs provide assistance that enables significantly disabled adults to live in private homes in their communities rather than in institutional settings.

The Center has begun this venture by leasing three three-bedroom apartments with the possibility of establishing additional single-family homes in the near future. Staff members from The Center will work on site to provide assistance and training in life skills such as shopping, meal planning, budgeting and banking. Residents may work or participate in The Center's day programs and will help pay their own rent and living expenses.

"The Center brings to this initiative not just the capacity to care for developmentally disabled clients but 50 years of experience in helping them to realize their potential and to make meaningful contributions to the community," Aguirre said. "We are certain our HCS program will grow in the future, but the number of homes we administer will depend on our clients' interest in this particular living model."

"Our recent agreement with the City of Houston to purchase the land underlying our West Dallas facility enabled us to improve and enhance the services we offer clients on our main campus, but it also spurred us to think about new ways to help more clients," said Jack Manning, president of The Center's board of directors. "We are grateful to supporters all over the Houston area who continue to help us make these goals a reality."

I'm going to be paying a visit to the Center later today to get a tour of the place. I'm really looking forward to that. I'll tell you all about it afterwards.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 07, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston