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Posted by Avenues in News on 7/11/2018

A preliminary discussion started at the Procedures and Regulations Committee meeting June 24 over “community residences,” how they are defined and how they apply in Park Ridge.

The classification already applies in city zoning based on classifications defined by the state, said Director Jim Brown of Community Preservation and Development.

The state defines them under the Community Living Facilities Act as a transitional residential setting “which provides guidance, supervision, training and other assistance to ambulatory or mobile adults with a mild or moderate developmental disability with the goal of eventually moving these persons to more independent living arrangements.”

These were sometimes referred to as “group homes,” back in the 1980s when the state closed some of its facilities and suggested individuals be integrated into neighborhoods.

Park Ridge divides these facilities into two sizes. A small facility can be up to eight residents including live-in staff. A large facility would be more than eight residents up to 20, plus staff.

The state licenses the facilities and requires some sort of vocational training, sheltered workshops or regular employment.

The facilities in this category do not include nursing or medical care, people suffering from substance abuse, or individuals placed instead of being incarcerated. For neighbors unfamiliar with the differences may need reassurances.

Park Ridge’s Avenues to Independence Program, founded in 1953, and its residential program, have served as a model of how the community living system works right. It provides sheltered workshop experience, helps many of its residents to hold regular jobs in the city, and be a part of the community.

The Avenues residences provide group activities but they also provide structure and respect.

Ald. Nick Milissis (2nd) said he is hearing concerns from his ward that a different sort of these residences are being started in Park Ridge neighborhoods by private entrepreneurs.

He is less secure that the residents of the private community homes will behave as good neighbors. Do they have planned activities and supervision? Neighbors want assurances the residents will behave appropriately, he said.

Although aldermen had a very basic discussion June 24, they wanted better information and a chance to determine what kinds of orientations the city might require whenever a new facility is proposed.

They anticipate returning to the discussion again later this year. During July and August the City Council plans a combined committee meeting once a month.


Tags: park ridge , community , government , community living facilities act

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