News & Press

River Edge Opens Two New Houses for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

A ribbon cutting for River Edge’s two newest homes for individuals with developmental disabilities is scheduled for Monday, November 23 at 10:00 a.m. at 1224 Ernest Street, Macon, GA.  County commissioner and mayor pro-tem Bert Bivins, III will attend the event.

These homes will provide quality care to those who require assistance in living independently.  The homes also provide an opportunity for those with disabilities to associate with people within the broader community.  Depending on each person's needs, the group homes will provide services ranging from a highly structured, heavily supervised setting to a relatively independent lifestyle. 

River Edge’s director of disability services, Greta O’Dell said, “River Edge’s caring well-trained staff partner with individuals, families, loved ones and other providers to offer individualized choices, options, opportunities and supports that promote valued social roles, pursuing expanded hopes and dreams, learning new skills, and living the most independent, meaningful life possible.  These homes are two examples of how River Edge is adventurous about creating customized opportunities for adults to access and participate in desired, typical community activities and to belong in community life.”

Cass Hatcher, director of facilities and housing development for River Edge, said, “Due to the shortage of accessible affordable housing in Macon-Bibb County that meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), River Edge is committed to increasing housing opportunities for individuals with disabilities.  The development of these two group homes will become permanent homes for persons who are diagnosed with intellectual disabilities.” 

River Edge received funding for this project through the Macon-Bibb County Economic and Community Development Department by way of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME).  HOME provides formula grants to states and localities that communities use, often in partnership with local nonprofit groups, to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or home ownership, or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.  HOME is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.

River Edge CEO Shannon Terrell Harvey commented, “River Edge is delighted to make available state of the art, universal design, green certified living spaces for individuals with intellectual disability for whom we provide residential supports.  River Edge does not see disability we see different abilities that add richness to community life in Macon-Bibb.  We exist to make life better for people and communities we serve."

In the past, persons with developmental disabilities (DD) lived in congregate care state institutions.  Currently, most institutions in the state have closed with the goal of integrating persons with DD into community settings with appropriate supportive services.