Our Autism Speaks House to Home Entry

Autism Speaks House to Home Resized

We entered the HeroX, Autism Speaks House to Home Prize and all entries were due just before midnight, March 1, 2016.  Wish us luck!

Since I think folks might find it interesting, here is our 10, or so, page entry:  Ridgeview Chelan House to Home Entry.

I think it gives the best description of the project that has been available so far.

We’re entering the “Autism Speaks House to Home Prize”

They are offering $50,000 prizes in each of three categories for “belief busting breakthroughs in housing and residential support for people with autism.”

Read about the Autism Speaks House to Home Prize here.

It looks like it takes writing up to about a 10 page entry.  So, why not?

Wish me luck!

A friend asked why my son just doesn’t keep living with us….

We had some friends over for dinner and were chatting about our Ridgeview Place project.  One of them asked my why our son doesn’t just live with us.

It is a good question.  It is certainly something we could do.  We have plenty of room for our son.

So, I explained why our son could have a much different life living more independently and how his transition when we are no longer around would be much easier by living at Ridgeview Place.

This project is about creating a much more fulfilling life than he would have living at home with us, his parents.  It is not just about our son having a place to live when we can no longer care for him.

Ridgeview is about creating a community, basically his own special type of family, to share his life with.  He needs peers in his life to share experiences with, challenge each other and grow together.  The environment we are creating will allow our son to progress without bounds on what he can achieve and become.  That is what we want for our son.  We have seen some great examples of the types of  “family” that this type of home can provide in our research.

It is also about providing meaningful and productive work so our son is a contributing member of society.  We want him to have opportunities to earn the self-esteem that comes from pulling his own weight.

Our son is an integral member of the Lake Chelan community.  He knows and enjoys a broad swath of friends and he spreads his own brand of joy throughout the town.  Ridgeview Place is designed to encourage such a fully integrated approach to life in a community that supports it wholeheartedly.

Sure, like most all special needs parents, we do have concerns about what happens to our son after we are no longer around to, or able to, care for him.  Having to place him in a rush due to a circumstance like failing health would not allow us to be sure we had a stable, happy, sustainable environment for our son.

The bottom line answer to my friend’s question is living at home would limit our son’s life and opportunities to our schedule and abilities.  We want him to experience so much more!

Ridgeview Place is a solution that provides a stable, rewarding and more challenging life in a loving and caring environment well beyond the experience our son would have living at home.  If you have a special needs family member you care deeply about and want to learn more, talk to us about joining us on our journey.

 

Lake Chelan Special Needs Parent Group on Facebook!

There is now a Lake Chelan Special Needs Parent Group on Facebook.  It is a place for parents, caregivers and relatives of special needs folks in the Lake Chelan area to share experiences, support, encouragement, knowledge and be listened to.

If any of that sounds like you, join up!  Groups of us usually get together for coffee and chat now and then as well.

 

Features of Ridgeview Place, Chelan

Floorplan Main Floor Resized

The home at Ridgeview Place in Chelan is something special.  It is far beyond a “basic” home.  It is a luxurious, warm and beautiful place to be for anybody, but particularly for adults with special needs.  It is set on almost 3 1/2 acres of property that is just a 15 minute walk into downtown Chelan.   The views are spectacular.

The main floor is over 4600 square feet.  It has a “great room” type of living space with a kitchen, living and dining area that is open and captures the views.  The great room also has a dramatic fireplace and opens to covered outdoor living spaces as well.

The large kitchen has slab countertops, commercial type of appliances, a spacious island and double dishwashers.  A Costco sized pantry space with a second refrigerator and freezer is right off the kitchen.

A raised floor theater room with surround sound is also included.  Each resident room is large, with room for a bed of choice, desk and additional chairs.  There is a walk-in closet and private bathroom for every resident as well.

The laundry room has two sets of washers and dryers as well as a wash-tub and plenty of work space.

The main floor includes a powder room convenient to the great room and kitchen and a carefully located care-givers’ quarters with its own sitting room, living room, bedroom, walk-in closet, bathroom and covered deck.

The lower floor includes a fitness room, 6 heated storage spaces, an additional laundry center, bathroom and two additional rooms for visiting families, guests,  interns or caregivers space.

Ridgeview Place, a journey in housing for Special Needs adults at Lake Chelan

home,special,needs,adults,ridgeview, place, chelan

Ridgeview Place is a home and a lifestyle for special needs adults coming to Lake Chelan very soon.  People with special needs need a home of their own where they can live independent, productive, and fulfilling lives.  The environment should be positive and fun while being secure and tending to the residents special needs. The lifestyle of Ridgeview Place is about having meaningful work, lifelong learning opportunities, and the ability to enjoy all the recreational activities of the Lake Chelan valley and beyond.

Philosophy:

We are parents of a 20 year old special needs son.  What we want for our son is for him to have a fulfilling life, surrounded with close friends and family in an environment where he is challenged and supported to achieve his own goals.

With that in mind, during the past couple of years we researched living arrangements for special needs adults in Central Washington and beyond.  As you might expect if you know other families with special needs members, the people we met have been extremely supportive and willing to share their advice, the challenges they face and what works well for them.

Financial sustainability of lifestyles for people with special needs is a big challenge.  We want our son to be secure and more than comfortable well after we may no longer be around to provide for him.  A goal at Ridgeview Place is for it, and the residents, to be financially sustainable completely on their own.  Fortunately, that is something we know how to put together.  We are creating an environment where he and a few other special folks can thrive with the minimal possible concern to changing priorities of government and without relying on others’ charity.

We are building a place where the residents become a team of friends, a family of sorts, with other close friends to share their life with.  Our motivation is simply to create the best lifestyle possible for our son.

Finally, we are creating the first home catering to special needs residents in what we believe is an ideal place, the Lake Chelan valley.

We see a big part of having a meaningful life is having a productive life with opportunities for work that society also rewards as productive.  We have already started a company that will employ the residents of Ridgeview Place in meaningful, productive, and fun work that will provide a substantial income.  The company will also be owned by the residents and the work environment can be tailored to their interests and needs.  There are productive activities for all skill levels of folks in a company that is designed to be able to provide fun, social, and meaningful work.

What and Where:

Residents at Ridgeview Place will own their home.  It is a single family home that will be shared by its co-owners.  The environment will include full-time care to assist the residents with their long-term needs while fostering their independence.  The Chelan valley will get to see this home develop, with a can do atmosphere, high-quality care, and a fulfilling lifestyle for all it touches.

Lake Chelan is the ideal location for Ridgeview Place.  An easy 15 to 20 minute stroll from downtown, the home is located in the City of Chelan.  Bus lines are also close by.  Chelan has its own amenities, including a friendly, small town environment where neighbors know and care for one another.  It encourages a healthy lifestyle with 300 days of sunshine and many outdoor recreation activities year round.

Additionally, Lake Chelan is beautiful.  North Central Washington is a recreational playground and a place of natural wonders. Chelan itself is one of Washington’s most desired vacation spots and highly desirable for retirees.  There is no better spot for the families of residents to gather and spend time together.

What is happening now:

We are in the process of enlisting an architect to design the home and obtain building permits.  Construction could begin this year.  Ridgeview Place could be ready to occupy in 2016.

On the vocational side, the company to be associated with Ridgeview Place began shipping products in late May of 2015 and should be producing profits in 2016.

What we are looking for:

We are seeking other families who have a special needs person in their lives that may want to reside at Ridgeview Place.  Now is the time for people to take a look what we are building, learn about the opportunity and investigate whether it is a fit for their family.

If you are interested in learning more about Ridgeview Place, contact either:

Al Lorenz  or Denise Lorenz.

We would love to talk to you and it will be worth your effort.