Plainfield trustees on Monday unanimously approved a permit for Easter Seals Joliet Region to operate a group home for up to six men with developmental disabilities.
Trustees welcomed Easter Seals to the community and praised their work, saying they champion rights for disabled people to help them lead normal and productive lives.
“The work Easter Seals does … is tremendously applaudable,” trustee Dan Rippy said.
Easter Seals applied for a permit to use an existing single family residence in the Heritage Meadows subdivision as a group home. The home, 24212 W. Apple Tree Lane, had been vacant and in foreclosure when Easter Seals bought it.
Easter Seals serves people with disabilities and special needs so that they have equal opportunities to live and work in their communities.
The house will provide a residence for six men between the ages of 34 and 57, all with varying degrees of cognitive disabilities. Two of the men are also blind, two are hearing impaired and one is in a wheelchair. They attend vocational programs during the day.
Easter Seals Joliet Region President and CEO Debra Condotti said the benefits of being in a group home are immeasurable. The residents have an opportunity to live in a stable, nurturing home environment that most people take for granted, she said.
The residents flourish in this setting and it gives them a chance to integrate into society and assert their independence, she said.
The group home is expected to be ready for the men to move in by November.
“We’ll certainly be good neighbors,” Condotti said.
Last month, some Heritage Meadows residents expressed concerns about the home to the village’s plan commission. Residents asked plan commissioners if the home were large enough to accommodate six adults and caregivers and worried if the home would drive down property values or negatively impact the neighborhood’s safety.
Other residents attended the plan commission meeting to show their support for the group home, saying the home would be an asset, not a detriment, would not be more obtrusive than other single family homes and would offer great social benefits for the home’s occupants.
Village officials said they believe they’ve addressed residents’ concerns from the plan commission meeting.
Village staff and the residential building inspector toured the home and determined the basement can safely house two individuals, and all safety requirements will be verified before an occupancy permit is granted, according to village documents.
Easter Seals has also agreed to build a fence around the back yard of the group home.
The home is only to be used for developmentally or mentally disabled patients. Group homes are prohibited from housing recovering addicts or former prisoners. Easter Seals is also not licensed to serve mentally ill patients with a psychiatric diagnosis.
Read more on Plainfield Patch:
- Easter Seals Group Home Proposal Met with Opposition