Northeast Ohio Community Integration Project
Five New Homes to Provide Greater Opportunities
Echoing Ridge was built in 1983 as a part of Echoing Hills Community Living of Northeast Ohio. It is a place that has provided care and support for over 100 individuals. It is also a place that has allowed us to learn new lessons.
Over the last 40 years, we learned that several people living together can sometimes not feel as much like home as you’d like. Planning an activity, preparing a favorite meal, or scheduling an outing in the community can sometimes feel impossible.
In 2014, steps began to move those we serve into smaller homes. At that time, 22 individuals moved from Echoing Ridge into a combination of both Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) and waiver homes. Immediately, and since that time, we have seen the benefits. It all comes down to one thing. Individuals are engaged like never before. Those we serve are taking an active role in their lives – setting goals. They are achieving dreams, and engaging in their homes and larger communities.
These events bring us to today, the beginning of the last phase of our community integration project in Northeast Ohio.
On August 21st, 75 individuals served, team members, community members, and partners in the project joined together to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony. Looking to be complete by late 2024/early 2025, six ICF homes will complete the community integration project in Northeast Ohio. Three new six-bedroom homes and two newly renovated six-bedroom homes will provide a place to call home for 30 individuals.
Ray Schmidt, Executive Vice President/Chief Program Officer, is excited about what this project does for those we serve and the greater community.
“Our goal is to create homes where people can take their chosen place in the community and be valued for who they are and what they know. Here’s what we’ve learned: the community grows stronger when people of all abilities can live and grow together. It’s hard for those relationships to happen in groups. We know that the best things happen when people – all people – are valued for who they are and the talents they can share. I often define the word ‘community’ as ‘the art of sharing who we are.’ These homes take us one step closer to that dream. Our experience has enabled us to build similar homes all over Ohio, and we know these homes here in Canal Fulton will be a success too.”
This project is made possible through the generosity of many, including; Sisters of Charity Foundation, Stark Community Foundation, Timken Foundation, Paul and Carol David Foundation, and the Deuble Foundation.