March is National Disability Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the diversity, talents, and lives of people with disabilities. This month, and all year long, The Arc of Palm Beach County works to connect people with disabilities to the greater community to build understanding and trust that leads to inclusion and acceptance.
During National Disability Awareness Month, The Arc is unveiling plans for the Manning Avenue Residence, a new group home for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It will be The Arc’s fifth group home in Palm Beach County. Each home is located in a neighborhood, allowing residents to build social circles, explore their interests, and interact with the community.
“People with disabilities have so much to offer our community, but they cannot share their unique personalities, creativity, and humanity without being included in all aspects of society,” said Kimberly McCarten, president and CEO of The Arc. “Our group homes provide opportunities for residents to live with independence and dignity, alongside their peers and neighbors without disabilities, giving them a voice and recognition in the community.”
The Arc has persevered through the pandemic, transforming its current group homes into fully ADA-accessible buildings with lots of curb appeal. Renovations to the residence in Delray Beach will complete this goal. Thanks to community support from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, the Sandy Hill Foundation, and the City of West Palm Beach, all of The Arc’s residents enjoy warm environments, with 24-hour access to transportation and community-based activities.
The Manning Avenue Residence will be located in the Northend RISE neighborhood of West Palm Beach, an area undergoing community revitalization. The new group home will be made possible by a grant from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and a land donation from the City of West Palm Beach. The Arc is seeking to connect with community partners and sponsors to construct the new home in the spirit of true collaboration and collective effort.
“Acceptance for people with disabilities starts with the greater community,” said McCarten. “In supporting the Manning Avenue Residence, whether through in-kind donations of materials, volunteer service, or monetary contributions, our partners are demonstrating their commitment to an inclusive community for all.”