Jul 23Villa de Vida Poway Opens Its Doors to Residents Seeking Independence & Community
Most of us want the chance to live both independently and in community with others, but for many adults with developmental disabilities, that dream can feel out of reach. With the opening of Mercy Housing California’s (MHC’s) Villa de Vida Poway community, MHC is supporting about 60 people in achieving their dream of leading independent – but not isolated – lives.
What started out two years ago as an empty parking lot is now a beautifully designed, two-story 54-home community that provides permanent supportive housing to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The County of San Diego will provide vouchers to all residents, ensuring that no one will pay more than 30% of their income in rent, and applicants with low income will have priority for vouchers.
“I’m personally so excited about this project because it’s serving a group of people for whom there’s almost no dedicated affordable housing,” said Jonathan Wolf, regional director of Resident Services, Southern California. “Historically, most people with disabilities live with their parents until their parents can’t take care of them anymore, at which point there aren’t many good options that are affordable. Or, you might have someone in their twenties or thirties with cerebral palsy who has to live in a senior development, and they want to be with people their own age.” At Villa de Vida Poway, adults with disabilities will find a supportive community in which to transition from their parents’ homes or group settings into a more independent way of life.
New residents are already enjoying their own well-appointed apartments designed with accessibility in mind, as well as a rich array of amenities including a gym, a computer lab, lounges, courtyards with barbecues, and easy access to transit and the beautiful Poway Creek. Crucially, though, this development is more than a beautiful building. MHC has partnered with Southern California nonprofit Villa de Vida, Inc. to provide onsite personalized services, foster community through group activities, and support residents in achieving their goals.
“We have coffee hour every Wednesday at 9 AM, we’ve planned walks to get to know our neighborhood, we have cooking classes in a teaching kitchen that’s designed to look exactly the same as the kitchen in each apartment, we have Zumba in the courtyard with an instructor who specializes in seniors, children, and people with disabilities… there’s something to do every day,” said Hunter Christian, executive director of Villa de Vida, Inc. “It’s all coming together like we envisioned.”
While Villa de Vida Poway won’t be MHC’s first community focused on serving adults with disabilities, it is the largest. Jonathan hopes the community could serve as a model for future residences to support people in leading healthy lives with choice, dignity, and independence. “I’m hoping Villa de Vida Poway will give parents of adults with disabilities that peace of mind,” said Jonathan, “that their kids are going to get what they need here.”
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