This article was published in the August edition of the DHI Door + Hardware Magazine and reprinted here with permission.
Come Two by Two. A Look Inside Noah’s Ark, by Ginny Powell
Tucked into the “All American City” of Lakeland, Florida, is not just a community, but the realization of a dream initiated by a small group of parents nearly 20 years ago. It’s called The Village at Noah’s Landing.
Nearly two decades ago, a small group of parents of adult children with special needs met while watching their children take part in sporting activities. They began talking with each other about what would happen to their kids if they were no longer around. Who would oversee their care?
Their worries were further reinforced when they discovered that the options for care in and around Lakeland were extremely limited. But instead of becoming defeated, these five sets of parents took action. Big action. In 1997, they created Noah’s Ark of Central Florida.
The first homes were built between 2002 and 2007 and are located near downtown Lakeland. Called Noah’s Nest, this clustering of four houses is home to 17 residents living independently with the support of their fellow residents, family, and friends.
A Dream of Building a Community
While Noah’s Nest was a great start, the dream was always to build a bigger community for adults with developmental disabilities. The Villages of Noah’s Landing, with Phase 1 scheduled to open later this summer, is precisely that.
Phase 1 can accommodate up to 132 developmentally disabled residents and only takes up a fraction of the property’s 62 acres. When all phases are complete, the community will offer a wide selection of social, recreational, educational and vocational choices, and provide for the health care needs of its residents.