Grant provides new homes for residents with disabilities

April  30, 2014

      A grant will provide new homes for nearly 50 local residents with disabilities. The Arc of the Quad Cities has been awarded $3 million from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to build five new group homes in Moline and Rock Island.

      Each one will house eight people, and have a staff of eight.  Executive director Kyle Rick says within the past decade, many large state institutions have closed, and thanks to a recent court decision, people with disabilities have the right to live in community-based environments, either run by the state or local agencies like The Arc.
      "Our own Heritage 53 residence was designed to provide housing for 64 individuals, but over time, there's really been a transition to smaller, more personal living settings for individuals with disabilities, and that's the focus of these group homes."

      Rick says part of the grant will be used to repurpose Heritage 53, which currently has 48 people living in 4 buildings.  Rick says the new group homes will offer a better quality of life for clients of the Arc. But it will also help the community.

      "I mean, just the fact that we're having this $3 million grant brought into our community means construction jobs for many and obviously there will be long-term employment for the employees which will support in with disabilities."

      The Arc of the Quad Cities has also received two grants from the Attorney General's Housing Settlement fund, totaling $145,000, which will help pay for construction and demolition.