A new housing community for adults with disabilities has opened in New Lenox: Prairie Trail at the Landings.
Thane Dykstra, president and CEO of Trinity Services in New Lenox said the community offers 22 one-bedroom and three-bedroom units. Each has its own bathroom, kitchen, living space and storage. Each floor has its own washer and dryer, and the second floor has a recreation area that includes a pool table.
Trinity Services has offices on the first floor and a large room for group classes, Dykstra said. The property manager also has an office to ensure residents’ needs are being met. Trinity Services staff support residents in various ways: budgeting, cooking, job counseling, medication, social skills and transportation.
All units except one three-bedroom unit are currently rented, Dykstra said. That empty unit may go to two clients and a caregiver who will provide respite care, he said. Up to 30 adults can live at one time at Prairie Trail at the Landing.
Trinity Services currently offers staffed group homes and apartment living for its clients, Dykstra said. Four to eight clients might live in each group home and typically share bedrooms.
Apartment-living works well for more independent clients who want to live alone, but safety is a concern. So, Trinity decided to launch its own housing and make staff available to clients, Dykstra said.
Remote staff also is available at the push of a button during the night, Dykstra said. In fact, even some group homes across Illinois are addressing the staffing shortage with remote staff at a central monitoring location.
Dykstra said Trinity Services currently has six group homes with remote overnight staff; five of those homes also have cameras, he said. The technology even lets staff turn off a stove remotely.
“Our program participants, they do feel a little bit more independent when they don’t need staff on site 24/7,” Dykstra said. “From a program perspective, you’re facilitating independence and the pride that goes with that. From an agency perspective, you take pride in that and celebrate that.”
According to Trinity Services, this housing was made possible by the Illinois Housing Development Authority and Will County. Trinity Services added that Illinois officials have said “a waiting list for this type of housing has generated interest from more than 10,000 adults with disabilities throughout Illinois.”
For information, visit trinityservices.org.