Agency completes campaign for special homes

Special to the sentinel—Maretta Cherry of Mesa Developmental Services helps Judy Maixner. Mesa Developmental Services announced completion of a successful fundraising campaign for the building of specialized homes for people with disabilities or complicated medical issues.

Mesa Developmental Services recently reached its goal of gathering $2.3 million to pay for the construction of three specialized homes for people with complicated medical issues and disabilities.

The homes were built in 2010 to accommodate a total of 24 people who had been living in the Grand Junction Regional Center’s skilled nursing unit, which housed 32 people with disabilities who need constant care. Then-Gov. Bill Ritter announced in 2009 the state would defund the unit as part of a series of recession-era budget cuts.

Mesa Developmental Services had to raise all but $25,000 of the construction project cost by June 2012 to qualify for a $25,000 grant from Colorado nonprofit The Boettcher Foundation. A $600,000 grant from the Colorado Division of Housing, funds from federal sources and donations from individuals and businesses helped MDS reach that goal by mid-January.

Mesa Developmental Services spokeswoman Marilee Langfitt said The Boettcher Foundation recently awarded its share of grant money after reviewing documents and verifying that MDS had indeed met its fundraising goal.

Langfitt said she believes the closure of the Regional Center’s skilled nursing unit and the effort to find a home for its former tenants spurred generosity in the community in spite of tough economic times.

“It really touched people’s heart when this came out, but it turned out to be a good arrangement,” Langfitt said.

Each new home houses eight residents and is equipped to handle around-the-clock medical care and services. The homes welcomed residents in May 2010, nearly five months after construction workers broke ground on the project.


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