TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Friendship Home is a program that allows young adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities to live with college students, in order to form a sense of independence.
In August, staff with the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church will start this program in Terre Haute.
“Right now there’s six other Friendship Houses across the nation. So, a lot of them are at college seminaries and other universities but this will be the first one in Indiana, and the first one that kind of looks kind of different,” said Jess Berryhill, Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church special needs ministry coordinator.
In most Friendship Homes students residents are required to be seminarians or graduate students but the one launching in Terre Haute is taking in undergraduate students from local colleges.
One of those who has signed up to help this program is Hannah Peters, a student at ISU, who says her background made her want to positively impact the lives of others.
“I have grown up with people who have disabilities and I think that it will just allow me to make new friends, some unexpected friends and have a new community with some people that I didn’t really expect,” said Peters, future Friendship Home student resident.
Peters’ what the program calls, “friend roommate”, is Noel Harden. Harden, who is expected to live at the home for at least four years, says she is excited for this program to start and begin her path towards independence.
“I am blessed that I get to be a part of this and get a step into my future,” said Noel Harden, future Friendship Home friend resident.
Noel’s mother Lacey Robinson says Friendship Home is a great opportunity for her daughter to practice independence before she has to do it on her own.
“As parents we try to raise our children to be independent and so I’m really grateful for the opportunity that she has to have this period of time to practice independence with a little bit of support,” Robinson said.
The Friendship Home accepts friend residents that are at least 21 years of age but no older than 30 before they start the program. A friend resident is allowed to stay at the home for a maximum of 10 years. Rent to stay in the home located on 18th street in Terre Haute is 300 dollars per month.
Link to apply for friends: http://bit.ly/fhresident
Link to apply for students: http://bit.ly/fhstudent