Reach Unlimited to open 24th group home for clients with intellectual, developmental disabilities
With their 24th group home opening soon in Cypress, Reach Unlimited will be able to give more individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to take their next step as independent citizens.
On Feb. 4, Reach Unlimited, a nonprofit organization providing support services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will invite the public to celebrate the opening of its 24th group home in the Houston-area with a ribbon cutting celebration.
The home is located near Reach Unlimited’s Learning Activity Center, which is a space used for clients’ education, work and activities. The new group home will house three, to four individuals alongside a 24-hour staff of volunteers. Volunteers will act as caregivers by looking after and feeding the residents, as well as keeping them active.
Verna Noack, donor and communications relations manager for Reach Unlimited, said the home is a great next step for the clients. Reach Unlimited allows the clients to live in the house and have easy access to the Learning Activity Center, where classes are held and clients can earn money.
“The new one that we’re having built has a little bit different arrangement,” she said. “We have a client who is very high-functioning, but she is not able to live completely independently, and that home has a separate apartment where she’s able to have her own residence with supervision and yet she’s not connected with the regular house.”
Noack said Reach Unlimited is working to place clients on their waiting list as efficiently as possible, but readying each home takes time due to the extra effort put into finding proper locations, matching residents with their roommates, and other factors. Most Reach Unlimited group homes are gender-specifc housing.
“If you put two high-energy and high-ability folks in with somebody who is lower energy and less capable, that’s not a good, workable solution,” Noack said. “Staffing is critical. We’re staffed 24 hours a day and it has to be a good fit. Unfortunately the need is great, it’s just that we can only move ahead as we can financially and otherwise support that.”
Although the waiting list is an estimated 160 clients, Noack said, the list changes periodically due to the particular nature of the process.
“It’s about a $55,000 to $60,000 investment just to get a home up and running,” she said. “It’s kind of a flexible arrangement, the waiting list. It’s like putting a family together. Folks who say they’re interested in care within the organization, we certainly will place them on the waiting list. However, that doesn’t mean they’re going to quit looking because if they need a place for their folks with special needs, they have to continue to look.”
Reach Unlimited also provides its 300 clients with learning activities, such as math and computer classes, as well as glass art classes and other activities in which clients can participate while making money. Reach Unlimited also helps clients gain employment at businesses like Whataburger and Texas Roadhouse.
The ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 4 will be Chinese New Year-themed, and is hosted by the residents and Reach Unlimited. To RSVP, email email@example.com.