A Place to Call Home
by Eric Bailey, SummitDD Communications Coordinator
Finding a place to call home—it’s one of the biggest milestones in life. It’s a moment of true accomplishment and joy. A time when you’ve discovered your independence. Through personal drive, Summit DD person-centered planning and provider collaboration, three young women with developmental disabilities recently moved into their dream home. “I get my freedom. I get to be away from my parents,” shared Melanie on move in day.
Melanie, along with her roommates Brooke and Tikeala, set this process in motion months before. They all expressed to their Summit DD Service and Support Administrators (SSAs) their desire to fly from the nest. Anntella Wells, the SSA for both Brooke and Melanie, was one of the many support staff members that got the ball rolling. “They told us their needs, so it was our job to make sure they were met,” Anntella said.
Anntella collaborated with other Summit DD SSAs and found common ground with Staci Minor, Tikeala’s SSA. Tikeala was looking for more independence and liked the idea of having roommates, so it seemed like a possible fit. Together, Anntella and Staci coordinated a meet-and-greet with all three ladies. As a team, they mapped out everyone’s wants and needs, as well as the amenities they were seeking in a home. “They all got along great and were excited to move in with each other,” commented Staci, Tikeala’s SSA.
To begin the home search, they reached out to Summit Housing Development Corporation (SHDC), a residential provider for individuals with developmental disabilities in Summit County. After weeks of searching, the ladies chose their new home. “When they first walked in, the tears flew down! It was everything they had asked for,” Anntella recalled with a smile. “I was so honored to assist in finding a home that created so much excitement for the young ladies,” shared Tom Jacobs, the Executive Director of SHDC.
Just a few weeks ago, Melanie, Brooke and Tikeala celebrated by hosting their very first house warming party. The event was full of proud smiles, joyful laughter and true friendship—the perfect combination for a happy home.