Every individual has the capacity to teach us something. For individuals with developmental disabilities, this capacity arises during those experiences that are ordinary – sitting down for a meal, going for a walk in the neighborhood or participating in a community outing. It is during these experiences that one begins to realize the sacred that is present in the ordinary, the joy that arises from participating in a community and being in a relationship with one another.
Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche – an organization which promotes the dignity of all individuals, particularly those with developmental disabilities – states that “every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy; every child, every person, needs to be celebrated.” The Dwelling Place is a home, operated by Catholic Charities, which seeks to uphold the dignity of the individual in the context of community.
One of the four residents that lives at the Dwelling Place is Barb. Barb’s parents, Dr. Joe and Joan Durst, provided a loving home for Barb from the day she was born in 1964, back when many people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities were still institutionalized. Over the years, along with other parents of children with disabilities, Barb’s family explored many options as they tried to plan where Barb would live after they were no longer able to have her live with them. When the Dwelling Place opened its doors, it became “home” for Barb. Barb’s family is so grateful for the atmosphere of compassion, affection, respect and fun that has been created by the caring staff. Barb’s housemates and the staff are as much a family to Barb as her own family.
The Dwelling Place provides a home away from home for all four residents who live at the house. If you would like to support this mission, please join us in celebrating The Dwelling Place community by partnering with us today!
The Dwelling Place Coordinator