When guests walked into the lobby of the new Loveland Village clubhouse for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the first thing many of them remarked on was a tall potted tree covered in pieces of paper. But this was no ordinary house plant. It was a wish tree adorned with special notes for the facility’s new residents.
“I hope you love your new home and are very happy here,” one said.
“May you find friends, laughter and love all the days at the Village,” another read.
“We are so excited for you in your new apartment,” a third proclaimed.
The wishes were written by friends of Loveland Center, a nonprofit that strives to help adults with developmental disabilities live their lives to the fullest.
Soon, dozens of adults with developmental disabilities will call the Village home. The 42-unit apartment complex gives some residents their first chance to live on their own, in units that range from one to four bedrooms. And residents can live with roommates or their current caregivers, an option that many facilities across the country don’t offer.
Senator Nancy Detert cut the ribbon at the ceremony, and she also offered the audience, which included community stakeholders and adults with developmental disabilities, several words of thanks and encouragement.
“A dream is a wish your heart makes,” she said, quoting a song from the movie “Cinderella” and speaking about how former Loveland Center CEO Carl Penxa dreamed up the facility.
“We want you to move in and live happily ever after,” Detert said.
After the ceremony, current Loveland Center CEO Daniela Koci led tours of the furnished model apartments that were open for guests and potential residents to tour. She explained that the apartments were constructed using universal design principles, like wheelchair-accessible showers and kitchen appliances like refrigerators and stoves that can also be accessed from a wheelchair.
Potential residents and their families got out tape measures and started measuring bedrooms, touring kitchens and bathrooms and planning for the next step – a life of independence at Loveland Village.