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.

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  1. Although this is a difficult time to start new homes since there are waiting lists of people looking for funding to get into Residential Services it would be great to see more Covenant Enabling Residences spread throughout the different Conferences of the of the Evangelical Covenant Church since there are church members looking for Christian enviornments where their children can live. We should not limit ourselves to large Million Dollar homes since most of community facilities rent homes or appartments in settings that would be very integrated into the community. There are many churches with old parsonages or houses they have invested in for future expansons of their church that would make great locations for group homes even though some homes might need some modifications to be accessable for individuals with handicaps. I would love to be involved in starting homes within the Kansas City Area since there are a lot of good churches that would find a need for that type of Christian Group home within their community.

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