By Dana Lewis and Alex McMillen, Housing and Human Services
On July 20, the City of Falls Church celebrated the groundbreaking of the community’s soon-to-be new and only group home for adults with intellectual disabilities. The Miller House, located at 366 N. Washington Street, is being built in a partnership between the City and the nonprofit organization, Community Residences
. It is set to open in 2019 and will serve five residents, of which City residents will be a priority for admission.
The idea for this project came from the former pastor of Christ Crossman United Methodist Church, which borders the property. Reverend Mochel Morris saw it as a way for the church to serve its mission. The current structure had been vacant and uninhabitable for many years. The City sold the land to Community Residences with the understanding that the project would move forward.
Although the City has excellent programs in place for young people while they are in the City’s school system, many parents are in a bind once the students graduate. Aging caretakers can find it difficult to provide full time care for their adult children. This program will allow the adult with needs to have a stable home with 24 hour care. It will also allow the adults to stay in the city in which they grew up and love. City parents have been advocating for a program such as this one for many years.
Four of the residents with a high level of need will live in the main part of the house, while one resident, who can function at a higher level, will live in an apartment in the house. The thought is that some of the residents may work. The best part of this project is that it helps the City to meet is stated vison of inclusiveness.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Senator Richard L. Saslaw, Delegate Marcus B. Simon, Mayor David Tarter, City Manager Wyatt Shields, and the President of Community Residences, Arthur Ginsburg, applauded this critical step in the process of building this new home to meet the need of disabled residents. The wonderful John Williams, City resident and parent of an adult with special needs, spoke about how important the Miller House is to families and the community as a whole, reminding everyone of the bigger picture. The Miller House is just one more step towards building inclusiveness in the City.