non-profit, housing

Douglas County partnership provides housing solution for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

ARPA funds used to purchase hotel for project

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Wellspring Community plans to convert a La Quinta Hotel in Castle Rock into an apartment building to help integrate adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities into the community.

Over the summer, Douglas County announced a partnership with the non-profit, Wellspring Community. Douglas County purchased the La Quinta Hotel to allow Wellspring Community to use the building for its nonprofit services..

“The owners of the La Quinta decided that they were going to sell the hotel in Castle Rock and they were next door to the Wellspring program office,” said Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas.

The La Quinta owners talked to Wellspring Community and informed them the hotel was going to be sold and if the Wellspring Community program would be interested in the building.

Wellspring Community Director Peter Barber reached out to Thomas to tell her about the opportunity.

“So, I went back to the office, and I talked with staff and I said ‘How can we make this happen?’” said Thomas.

The La Quinta Hotel was purchased with the funds from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act. With the approved $6.4 million, the plan is to convert the hotel into 35 departments and have onsite 24/7 staff.

Barber and the Wellspring Community team sat down with a variety of stakeholders, including people involved in the program as well as external stakeholders who have knowledge about adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and what housing looks like for those individuals.

With the help of architects and builders, Wellspring Community was able to start the finalization of plans to remodel the La Quinta Hotel Nov. 15.

“At the moment, we are targeting sometime in the fall of 2023 to be the date that we open by, but we don’t have a hard date yet,” said Barber.

The non-profit program started in 2008 and has been recognized as a 501C3 since 2010. Wellspring Community offers a day program, work opportunities and soon to be a housing solution.

Currently there are about 110 participants enrolled in the day program, which runs Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Not all 110 participants come every day as each participant is able to set their own schedule. The day program offers in-person classes as well as online classes.

On average, Wellspring Community’s day program includes 60 participants per day. These individuals choose what classes they would like to be a part of and how many days in the week they partake in the class. These classes range from photography to baking, all the way to fitness.

“We are actually trying to create meaningful activities so that our adults can feel like they are living a life of fullness and abundance,” said Barber.

A key element of the program is to integrate these adults into the community and have the community get to know who they are as adults who contribute to our society just as much as anybody else is,” said Barber.

Wellspring Community is currently working with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to figure out what the appropriate ratio of neurodiverse residents – which are individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability – and neurotypical would be.

“We don’t have unlimited number of rooms,” said Barber, “so every room that we give to a neurotypical individual means that’s one less room that we can provide to a neurodiverse individual, and so obviously we want those ratios to be skewed towards neurodiverse individuals as highly as possible.”

It is predicted that Wellspring Community will announce the application process and begin to take applications in early 2023, however, there is no definite date yet according to Barber.

wellsprings, castle rock news, douglas county news, lora thomas, peter barber

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