Joshua’s Place is a home for men with mild to moderate developmental disabilities. Residents are given the freedom to care for themselves when they are able to do so safely and trained staff is always available to provide assistance when needed.
In this charity spotlight, I spoke with the Co-founder of Joshua’s Place, Bob Worgul.
In 1960, Bob and Shirley Worgul gave birth to their third son, Andy. When they learned that Andy had Down syndrome they were devastated, but they were also determined. They would raise Andy like any other child and make sure he had all of the same opportunities other kids received. He was taught to read before entering grade school and raised to be a very independent man. He got a job at Peckham (he continues to work there today) and provides much of his own care. Andy is well past the twenty years that doctors expected him to live.
Over the years, education and care have improved. Andy is now one of many people with a genetic or developmental disability who will eventually need a home when his parents are no longer able to care for him. Bob and Shirley realized this and started to explore options. Many of them weren’t quite right for Andy. Traditional institutions were too far from work. “Mom and Pop” care did not seem sustainable —what if one or both of his new caretakers became unable to look after their son?
Bob and Shirley decided to create their own nonprofit that would provide long-term care for Andy and others in his situation. Joshua’s Place would be a home for adults with mild developmental disabilities where independence could be encouraged, but care would always be available.
When the property for building Joshua’s Place was purchased, the lot across the street came as a packaged deal. The lot cost $13,000, but Bob was able to sell it for $125,000. Joshua’s Place has also received several large contributions including two of $100,000 or more. One supporter even promised to match up to $500,000 in donations!
The amazing support received so far has helped Joshua’s Place reach the amount needed to begin building, but they are still shy of their $1 million goal.
Six residents will call Joshua’s Place home, each with their own living quarters. A great room will be used for group activities and many other amenities will be available. The estate will also have several gardens, walkways, and a basketball court. Residents will be encouraged to live as independently as possible and even though some self-care is expected, there will be trained personnel available around the clock to oversee medication, prepare meals, and provide additional care when needed.
Christian values have been important to Bob while raising Andy. He also knows how important church is to his son. Joshua’s Place is open to people of all religions and if a resident wishes, employees will help make arrangements with their place of worship so that they may continue attending.
The facilities will be able to accommodate six adult men with developmental disabilities. If construction goes as expected, residents should be able to move into Joshua’s Place in the spring of 2017.
Bob already has plans to expand Joshua’s Place. In fact, the building has been designed with expansion in mind and can be easily built out to accommodate up to fourteen residents! The additional space and staff would also allow Joshua’s Place to care for women with developmental disabilities.
If you want to do something to help a loved one, see what’s already available before trying to build something of your own. If you don’t find a perfect fit somewhere else, look at ways to get support from organizations that offer services you will need.
Food banks, health foundations, and clothing donation services are just a few examples of charities that you can collaborate with. Let them do what they’re best at for you so you can focus on your mission.
Many charities like to add fun activities and events to their standard programs. For example, Joshua’s Place would like to have a vegetable garden, dances, and field trips for its residents. These are great opportunities for volunteers to do something they enjoy. They’re also great ways to build friendships.
If you want to learn more about Joshua’s Place, you can reach them by clicking one of the buttons below.