New homes to offer resources, sanctuary for people with disabilities

Mesa Developmental Services will break ground today on construction of three new group homes that will be specially designed for people with severe disabilities.

The homes are slated to absorb 24 of the 32 clients who currently live at the skilled-nursing unit of the Grand Junction Regional Center. The skilled-nursing unit is on track to close March 1 because of state budget cuts.

“It’s a real small time frame for trying to get everything done,” said Marilee Langfitt, spokeswoman for the nonprofit Mesa Developmental Services. “We’re trying to fast track everything. We’re really struggling to get funding.”

A number of local government agencies and contractors have banded together to donate services to assist in creating the homes and to fast track the project dubbed “A Home of Their Own.” Each home will house eight clients. One will be in Fruitvale and two will be in Orchard Mesa.

The homes will contain some of the latest technology for helping clients enjoy a high quality of life and helping staff care for patients. That includes lifts in bedrooms to help clients get out of bed and specialized equipment in bathrooms to help with cleaning. Hallways will be wide enough for staff to navigate clients who sit in elevated gurneys.

Mesa Developmental Services expects some of its current staff will receive advanced training to care for clients in the new homes. It plans to hire staff from the Regional Center and recruit nursing students, Langfitt said.

Mesa Developmental Services currently serves 600 clients and will have 15 group homes in the Grand Valley when the project is complete, Langfitt said.

Some groups are asking how they can help with the project, which may mean outfitting a room with the necessities.

“We’re suggesting they could adopt a room or a bathroom,” Langfitt said. “The bedrooms are going to need to be completely furnished.”


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