Why Chelan for the Adult with Development Disabilities in your life?

The City of Chelan from the Chamber of Commerce

Today my son reminded me why we moved to Chelan in the first place.  Yes, the spectacular scenery, 50+ mile long lake, recreational opportunities and sunny climate are all a bonus, but they aren’t the reason we moved to Lake Chelan.

We lived in the Everett/Mukilteo area before we moved to Chelan over a dozen years ago.  Our lives were set up pretty well, even though there were traffic and crowds, our commutes were on side streets and about 10 minutes.  We had beautiful views, things to do, lots of friends and a great life there.

But it wasn’t ideal for our son, Turner.  Schools were an issue.  He was bullied and mistreated at school.  The schools weren’t interested in working with the way he learned and to get what we needed would take an adversarial approach.

But the problems went further than the schools.  The area was populous enough, that anonymity was the rule so most people ignored our son, or worse were rude, would take advantage of him or bully him.  Certainly not everybody was like that, but it was not uncommon.

Turner needed a better world to explore.  So, we upended our lives and moved to Chelan.  And, it was WORTH IT!

Chelan has the small town environment we were seeking.  While Turner doesn’t know everybody in town, he knows most of them.  He’s a celebrity in town, who is valued for his quick smile and upbeat attitude.  His enthusiasm and happiness are contagious and people everywhere engage Turner in a positive way.

The environment alone makes Chelan a great place for Ridgeview Place.  But, when all that bonus stuff is factored back in, Lake Chelan, the inviting climate, and one of the most popular places in Washington for people to want to be, Chelan is perfect!

Turner gives back to the town too.  He loves to help, whether it is the Food Bank or the Fire Department, Turner is happy to do whatever he can to help out. Turner fits right in.  It doesn’t take effort to create an inclusive environment, it just is an inclusive environment when you see the same people all of the time.

Chelan is big enough that there are things going on too.  Turner participates in Special Olympics, loves to bowl, has learned to play guitar and has bands he can play with.  Most every excavation company in town is friends with him.

Anonymity doesn’t exist in Chelan, at least not for long.  The first night we moved into our new home in Chelan years ago, Turner had a melt down.  He was screaming and rightfully a neighbor was concerned and called the police.  So, we got to know the police right away.  The interaction was great and Turner is now on a friendly, first-name basis with the first responders in the area.

When thinking of a place that your family member with a development disability can thrive, it takes not only a great home and work environment, but a community that will embrace and support them.  So, if you come to check out Ridgeview Place, spend some time checking out the town as well.

As for us, tomorrow is the annual St Patrick’s day Dog Parade.  Everybody knows Turner loves dogs.  He will be busy saying hello to his human and canine friends, and then probably ride with his buddies in one of the Fire Engines.  Half of the town participates in the two-block long parade and the other half cheers them on!  Have a great weekend, we will!


Social Entrepreneurship: Ridgeview Place’s Special Sauce

Working at Ridgeview Place

Ridgeview Place is a bunch of things.  It is a home for special needs adults.  It is an inclusive place, that invites interaction between the community and its resident owners.  It is a place where residents experience and benefit from both home ownership and owning their own business.  A unique style of Social Entrepreneurship weaves the residential and employment experience together in a very unique way.

It’s easy to be busy.  Busy isn’t enough to assure a financially sustainable life.  Most of the opportunities in our area for adults that are neurologically atypical involve menial work and menial reward.  We simply rejected the premise that these hard working adults should be so limited.

Therefore, the business at Ridgeview had to make good sense as a profit making business, period.  Busy work wouldn’t cut it; we sought actual, productive business, a profitable, commercial enterprise. That is an unusual requirement for businesses set up to benefit adults with special needs.  But that is exactly the requirement that allows for pretty much unlimited opportunity for the resident owners at Ridgeview.  The only limit on the opportunities, and incomes, of the owners at Ridgeview is the imagination and motivation of the people involved.

And yes, business is a team sport.  The business has lots of things to do for the resident owners as well as their families and supporters.  Of course, we chose an initial business that has a fun, social work environment.  The work involves all skill levels, so we have things that people of all skill levels can be successful doing.

But it is entrepreneurial at its core.  We identified a commercial opportunity and organized a venture to implement it.  And, we will do that again and again as we grow.

It is truly a beautiful thing.  Those who come to see it tell me there is nothing else like it.  If a group of social entrepreneurs is the type of team you want to be involved with, don’t hesitate to check it out.  We only have a few spots available.




On to the next phase…


Downhill skiing at Mission Ridge

With construction mostly complete (there is still completion of the shop/office space, paving and landscaping to be done), the next phase of this project begins.  To borrow from DisneyLand, that is simply to make this one of the Happiest Places in the World to live for the residents, caregivers involved and families who participate.

Fortunately, we have some great models on how that can be accomplished with the people we know from other projects.  It is a process though, and one that matures and blooms as we get other families involved!

Building a fun living environment is quite a bit more involved than the construction has been and is a process that really never ends.  But, it is lots of fun!  Getting the community involved and our loved ones involved in the community is part of it.  We have a great start on the vocational part too that helps our folks be actual contributing members of the economy to earn their way.  Planning vacations, day trips, etc. and more!

If you have interest in this project, it is time to express it.  Thanks!

Wow, great photos as yesterday of Ridgeview at Lake Chelan

Thanks Jerry Isenhart for the great photos and videos of Ridgeview at Lake Chelan!


Here’s a video: https://goo.gl/photos/Hjxew9wf7rv8Y2ym8

These show the shop going up on the outside, final grading happening, etc.  On the inside, finish electrical and plumbing are happening and final cleanup is in 2 weeks with furniture going in after that.


Lake Chelan’s home for Special Needs Adults gets a roof!


Things are really coming along now.  With the roof going on it is easy to see all the wonderful spaces that we have at Ridgeview Place in Lake Chelan.

This housing for Special Needs adults is a really cool spot!  Working on getting some vineyard planted around it next spring too!




Framing the lower floor is moving right along…

Here are a couple of photos from framing all the way back from Monday.  The internal walls are probably about done now.  Also, power and sewer connections have been brought on site.  Next week, more framing and the extension of the water main, fire hydrant and water line.

Framing of the lower floor or Ridgeview Place at Lake Chelan
Framing of the lower floor or Ridgeview Place at Lake Chelan


Slab is poured, Lumber on Tuesday and Framing on Wednesday!

Finishing the basement slab

Freshly poured basement slab

The slab was poured today.  43 cubic yards of fun!  Some additional footings for posts will be poured Monday and Tuesday.  On Tuesday, lumber arrives and on Wednesday the framing crew starts.



The latest construction photos show the foundation work nearly done

The foundation is back filled and preparation for the slab is nearly complete.  Some plumbing needs to be added, and then the slab can be poured.  After that, wood should start going into the air!

Meanwhile, things like water, power, etc are being worked on to be brought up to the project.

Here are photos from this morning: