“The creation of the Parish House demonstrates the power of community and of parents who love their children and think they ought to be able to live in the community in which they grew up.” (Cullen Ryan, executive director of CHOM.)
The Parish House Opens
Renovations on the Parish House began in November 2016 under the guidance of Community Housing of Maine (CHOM). After ten months of extensive and meticulous work by E.L. Shea Builders and Engineers of Ellsworth, the renovations were completed and the doors were opened for residents in August 2017.
The building is now a lifelong home for six young adults with disabilities who each have their own individual apartment (bedroom, kitchen/living area and bathroom) and share common living spaces (community kitchen, living room, laundry room, outside patio and grounds). Local artists have provided artwork for the walls of the Parish House. Staff from Volunteers of America provide support through ongoing enrichment activities, and tend to people’s physical and emotional needs. Residents and staff plan and prepare nutritious meals from scratch each day.
With the support of staff, residents are able to achieve greater inclusion within the community.
Local Solutions helps facilitate community connections and financially supports programs to enrich the residents’ lives.
The Parish House is a model of inspired supportive housing that can be replicated in other communities.
Opening Dedication Ceremony
On September 6, 2017 Local Solutions, Community Housing of Maine (CHOM), and Volunteers of America (VOA) hosted an Opening Dedication Ceremony for the Parish House in Bar Harbor. More than 200 people attended the celebration at St. Saviour’s Church. Read more about this wonderful event as reported in the Islander newspaper.