TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Friendship House, which is overseen by Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, officially opened its doors.
Those who live there said it’s a place for people to eat together, pray together, and celebrate together.
“Friendship House is an opportunity for students and residents with disabilities — so young adults with disabilities to live together in community,” said Jessica Berryhill, resident director of Friendship House.
On Saturday, program leaders invited the community to see the home and meet the residents who live there.
College students will be able to live in the home until the end of school, while residents with disabilities will be able to live in the home for up to a decade.
Residents are chosen through an interview and application process.
Berryhill said the home is about creating a family dynamic and allowing the young adults to have an opportunity to gain their own independence.
“It’s like a dream come true to move into a place like this. I always wanted to move out and today that day came and I’m ready for that independence,” said Noel Harden, a resident of the house.
Terre Haute’s friendship house is the first in Indiana and only the sixth in the country. It’s also unique to the other friendship houses that are around.
“This is really the first one that’s sponsored by a local congregation,” said Berryhill.
Terre Haute’s Friendship House is also the only in the country that houses undergraduate students instead of graduate students.
The open house included tours of both the male and female homes, as well as a special dedication with Mayor Duke Bennett. There was also a time of prayer.
“We wanted to invite people in. We wanted our space to always be open for people to come and visit. It’s not just a Friendship House. It’s really Terre Haute Friendship House.
Berryhill said it was important to the residents to meet their neighbors and become part of the local community.