September 23, 2013
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11
The Board of Directors of the Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat would like to share information about a new opportunity to expand options for individuals with developmental disabilities to live in the community. As you may be aware, ECCR already operates five group homes in our surrounding communities and our goal is to develop four new homes to open next year. We have an excellent team of architects, developers, Board members and staff working on this plan. We will be taking all of the special, unique needs of the individuals into consideration and we will be building or renovating homes with these needs in mind.
We are embracing this opportunity to create alternative community housing options for our residents in response to recent State policy changes. These changes mean we must provide opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to live in the most appropriate setting for their needs. As a provider of residential services we must also move all of the residents from the main building, the Bushman building, into the community. The Bushman building is currently funded with state dollars only and the State cannot access needed Medicaid funds while people are living in such a large facility. In order for the State to receive at least 50% of the funding needed from Medicaid, we must create additional community housing opportunities for the residents we serve. The Lodges will remain as homes for our most medically compromised residents.
We are responding to these changes by adhering to the Christian commitment of our founders to support our residents throughout all stages of life and will continue to provide services guided by our mission. We are thankful for the Lord’s blessings which have prepared us well to embrace these changes and the challenges ahead. ECCR has been operating group homes since 1987, so we have many years of experience creating and operating community housing programs. We are working closely with the State to assure adequate funding to provide the appropriate staffing for each home and we will not compromise the care of our residents.
On behalf of our residents, we are especially grateful for your understanding and continued support during this period of transition. In the months ahead you will receive more information about our progress and new opportunities to support our efforts. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to our mission and care of our residents.
Jayne Press, Executive Director
William Bushman, Board President