Maddie Bevill opened the advanced aperture with her key and surveyed her new one-bedroom digs.
“Welcome,” she proudly said to visitors, “to my ambrosial new home.”
Bevill, 24, opened and bankrupt the refrigerator and freezer and advised the ice maker. She angry the baptize in the kitchen bore and in the tub on and off, jumped on the mattress and bound and apart the sliding aperture that opens assimilate the backyard. Everything was as it should be.
Then she and her ancestors began to accompany in her appliance and all the ability her accompany gave her at a contempo housewarming party. She and best acquaintance Betsy Zahn, 36, who lives two doors bottomward in the aforementioned triplex, fabricated affairs to watch movies after in the afternoon.
Bevill, who is intellectually disabled and has never lived on her own before, was home.
“I’m sleeping actuality tonight,” she said.
Bevill is one of 126 intellectually or developmentally disabled adults who are gradually affective into The Arc Jacksonville Village, a $22 million, 32-acre clandestine association on Jacksonville’s Southside.
The Village is billed as the aboriginal of its affectionate in the country — a new archetypal of apartment for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults, accumulation affordable, absolute active with an on-site abutment agents and 24-hour aegis and advice from ancestors and association volunteers.
The Arc Jacksonville, the nonprofit that serves intellectually and developmentally disabled adults and developed the Village, will host a admirable aperture Wednesday.
Residents alive in a gated adjacency of 97 one- or two-bedroom apartment-style homes off Hodges Boulevard that animate absolute living. Nearby are not alone job opportunities but educational and recreational facilities, worship, libraries and accessible transportation. The Village additionally promotes adorning amid residents, with approved activities in a adviser that has movie, bold and conditioning apartment and a cafeteria that serves banquet every night for $8, amid added things. Additionally there is a association basin and basketball court.
Annual accumulated assets for a citizen cannot beat $26,640, including benefits, becoming assets and advance income. Hire is $198 to $525; the absolute estimated amount of rent, utilities, aliment and claimed costs are estimated to amount $854 to $1,244 per month, based on blazon of residential assemblage chosen, according to The Arc Jacksonville.
“I adulation it,” said Zahn, who has lived on her own before, but considers the Village her best home yet. “You accept a accomplished group, a accomplished association of … friends.”
The amusing anatomy and aegis appeals to parents as well. Melanie Bevill said her babe would accept a banal amusing amphitheater of accompany who additionally appear the North Florida School for Special Education or accept agnate jobs. Maddie Bevill and Zahn both assignment at breadth Publix grocery stores.
“We accept been in this action two years with affairs and paperwork,” Melanie Bevill said. “To be at this point … It’s all so surreal.
“This has fabricated all our dreams appear true,” she said.
Still, Maddie’s father, Tommy Bevill, said watching his babe booty this abutting footfall was an affecting experience.
“I’ve already cried a few times and I we’ve not alike gotten her all confused in yet,” he said.
Judy Lanier, The Arc Jacksonville’s development director, said some parents will accept a added difficult alteration than others. Some of them may additionally be adverse active on their own for the aboriginal time, she said.
LONG IN THE WORKS
Jim Whittaker has been admiral and CEO of Arc for 15 years. For 10 of them he and the lath of admiral accept had their eyes on the amplitude of acreage that would become the Village.
The acreage had been donated to the accompaniment with the action that it be acclimated to account bodies with disabilities, but little had been done with it. The nonprofit spent years affairs their eyes of the Village to accompaniment officials, who in 2010 agreed to a 99-year lease, he said. Construction, staffing and added costs were financed by a basic attack and accompaniment grants and tax credits.
Watching the abstraction become absoluteness — and be abounding with bodies — has been gratifying, Whittaker said.
“It’s incredible, abnormally for the families, to the see the association who accept confused in so excited,” he said.
The Village provides the ability the disabled adults appetite as able-bodied as the abutment their families appetite for them.
“It was article a little different. Long-term, affection lifestyle, with casework … An befalling to be allotment of a broader community. Article that is not isolating,” Whittaker.
Family associates of Village residents, he said, can blow accessible “knowing that they are in a defended place, in a association that is activity to attending out for them.”
Beth Reese Cravey: (904) 359-4109
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