Moving Day is … feel free to fill in your own word here! Did anyone say “easy?”
For Bertha, Julie, Rose and Mary, who all receive Residential Services, their move from their home on Four Winds in St. Peters to their new home on San Carlos in St. Charles was just that – easy. “They were all really excited about the new house,” Allyson Hedemann, Support Staff, said. “It made the transition much easier.”
Before the move, the women lived in two townhouses with a common area, but now they have a house, which has been updated based on their needs. “Dan (Dozier, landlord) heard their stories and made the house to fit the needs of the ladies,” Brittney Moss, Residential Coordinator, said. Some of these updates include widening the hallway and doorways, a safety wall around the stairs, a zero-entry bathroom and laminate flooring throughout the home. “It’s a huge upgrade and it’s great,” Brittney said.
Each resident has a favorite room of the house – Rose said she likes the bathroom because it’s easier to take a shower; Bertha said she likes the back living room because there’s more light for her to paint; Mary likes the front living room because that is where her comfy chair is; and Julie said she likes her bedroom because it’s the biggest. “As long as it works for them, it’s great for me,” Dan Dozier, landlord, said.
All four roommates agree the house offers more space and they are getting to know each other better because now they can have meals together at the kitchen table. “Julie is not calling me as much since she’s moved in,” Georgia Conlon, Julie’s sister and guardian, said. “She’s happy. It’s very comforting to me.”
Georgia is also happy to know the landlord is a friend of Community Living. But, she’s not the only one. Melinda Brink grew up in the house that Bertha, Julie, Rose and Mary now call home. She is also a family friend of the Doziers. “My (late) parents would be thrilled that the home went to help people in the community,” Melinda said. “I’m so happy that the Doziers are involved.”
It’s strange to think this may not have even happened. There was a contract on the house, but it fell through. When this happened, Dan said he would like to purchase the house and turn it into an accessible home for individuals supported by Community Living’s Residential Services. He closed on the house February 5 and moving day was April 27.
On June 25, the women had an open house. It was at this open house the ladies met Melinda. “I thought coming back would be bittersweet, but knowing the ladies love the house as much as I did, it’s such a happy feeling,” Melinda said.
In other news … A bathroom renovation happened in another home, thanks to the Developmental Disabilities Resource Board of St. Charles County, owner of the residence. With this renovation, both bathrooms upstairs are fully accessible and have zero entry.
“The new bathroom is really nice,” Paul, resident of the home, said. “I’m happy it’s finished.”
Although the bathroom is for all the residents of the home, Paul’s bedroom is closest to the bathroom. “I no longer have to walk across the house to use the other bathroom,” Paul said with a smile.