The happiest place on earth to live would have the joy and love of a puppy! Meet Metsa, who loves to cuddle, sit on laps and play with squeaky toys. Metsa loves her new forever home at Ridgeview and is so happy to be rescued!
Come see a dream home for adults with special needs at Lake Chelan. It is nestled in a vineyard with over 7000 square feet of home for 4 young adults. This home is designed to be able to support most any care needs for the residents lifetimes in a beautiful and spacious setting.
See how the residents are involved, included and truly valued in the community. We think of it as the most fun place to live in the world!
But, there’s more! 😉
We will also have the business open that allows the residents to earn a great income while maintaining eligibility for most benefits.
Join us, come say hello.
October 19th, from 1 to 4 pm.
1101 Jessie Street
Chelan, WA 98816
For more information, contact Al Lorenz at email@example.com.
Retirement and estate planning when you are a family with a child with special needs is a little different. Our friend Frank described it really well. Frank said that it isn’t just about figuring out how to not run out of money during your life. When you have one of these kiddos, you have to figure out how to build a perpetual motion machine that will function for as long as it needs to after you’re gone and provide for, protect and care for your child.
How much that might take financially is really a huge unknown, and is also probably a pretty large number. And, if you move beyond the finances you have to have people involved who would have the concern and follow-up that you yourself would have if you could be around for your child’s whole life.
That second part is what we’re building now at Ridgeview. We have a structure to work through the financial issues that doesn’t rely on government or other programs. It’s about the best shot at a financial perpetual motion machine that we can come up with. Even that relies on having skilled and caring people making decisions to keep it moving.
That’s where the tribe comes in. We are currently spending all the time we can with the other families who are serious about Ridgeview. When our kids move in, which should begin in 2019, they will already be good friends with lots of great shared experiences. I know my son is getting excited about it.
As part of that, the group of parents and the families involved are also becoming good friends. This is a project that will span generations, so we are taking the opportunities as they come to all get to know and be comfortable that we have similar visions of what we want to see happen at Ridgeview. We are, after all, the team tasked to make it happen. That team, as we spend time at it, really becomes a tribe when it come to our kids at Ridgeview. The siblings and other extended family of the residents will probably be involved at some point so it is great if they’re not strangers and best if they’re friends.
Already this tribe building is working to expand the horizons of our kids as they get together and we do things socially they wouldn’t have done on their own. Recently, we’ve toured the Rocky Reach dam, ridden go-karts, gone bowling a few times and visited the Hydroplane museum. And, we’re getting some folks together for the unique way the town of Chelan celebrates Halloween.
It takes time to build a tribe, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good time! A strong tribe is a big part of the perpetual motion machine we are putting together. If it sounds like fun, we do still have at least one spot open….
Back when we started working on Ridgeview Place, there wasn’t a term that was in use in the industry serving adults with developmental disabilities to describe the type of living situation we were creating. Now, there is a term. “Shared Living” or “Shared Living Solutions” is the term used to describe how Ridgeview Place works.
It is where a group of individuals live together, and either own or pay rent on, their home. The arrangement usually involves a total of 2 to 4 people. They may receive instruction and support delivered by contracted service providers. Individuals pay their own rent, food, and other personal expenses. This is a different type of arrangement than a group home or adult home. You can see the way DSHS categorizes things here.
There can be significant advantages for Shared Living arrangements. Partners4Housing (partners4housing.com) is working to help create Shared Living arrangements in the Puget Sound area and has an assessment and roommate matching tool as part of their process to getting successful Shared Living homes operating.
Ridgeview Chelan is not as far outside of the mainstream as it was when we started. Shared Living arrangements can have lots of advantages. When coupled with the Social Entrepreneurship of Ridgeview Place, most all of the concerns about creating an integrated, sustainable and stable home for adults with disabilities are addressed.
Ridgeview Place is a completely private project. When a resident comes to Ridgeview, they must buy into the home. The buy-in brings more with it than just buying into the home. With the home buy in comes a quarter share in the business as well. The business generates significant income such that the purchase into the home can be paid back, which, if you look at it that way, makes Ridgeview essentially free.
Sure, there is work that is to be done with the business. It takes the efforts of both the residents and their families to keep it successful and producing income. Still, that is quite a deal. This means your family member’s lifestyle doesn’t depend on any aid or government programs, which do change and can go away, to thrive.
Look around. I don’t believe there is anything like it.
Check Ridgeview Place out. Where the Conners of this world are valued, respected and appreciated.
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! Just because Turner is on the spectrum doesn’t mean he isn’t social. Of course he’s a social being!
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. 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 developmental 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!
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.
We are now operating the vocational part of the project in the shop building, have hired a house parent, irrigation for the vineyard is in place and here are the latest photos of the home: