JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Arc Jacksonville Village had its grand opening and ribbon-cutting Wednesday morning.
Families who have children with intellectual and developmental disabilities got a chance to see what it’s like for their kids to learn to live independently.
One resident, Destiny, was brought to tears thinking about how happy she was to have this opportunity. Her mom was just as proud a village like this was made.
“I’ve had this dream for 25 years. It was our vision collectively. It’s our reality. We are so honored to be a part of an extended family,” said Felicia Toson.
The village has been in the making for 10 years, and cost around $22 million.
Arc leaders say they were able to build this with tax credits, grants and donations.
In fact, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was also there and gave a $40,000 donation.
He got a tour of the facility and said it’s one of the nicest neighborhoods in Jacksonville.
“The little one-one was way nicer than anything I ever lived in until I got to Jacksonville,” said Bortles.
Moira Rossi lives there.
“It’s a little different, to be honest. Now we are in charge of our own house. I lived with my parents for 28 years,” said Rossi.
The community serves up to 126 residents.The Arc leaders say right now they are at capacity but do have a waiting list.
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Senator Aaron Bean here to talk to the village community pic.twitter.com/4Xb8Yti5c4— Deanna Bettineschi (@DeannaANjax) May 18, 2016
The arc wants those with disabilities to be more independent, learn to live with friends, and also be active and employed in the community— Deanna Bettineschi (@DeannaANjax) May 18, 2016
One woman says this place has given her a chance to be independent and learn to cook pic.twitter.com/Qkxn5jEE8r— Deanna Bettineschi (@DeannaANjax) May 18, 2016
She challengers other businesses in Jax to give those with disabilities a chance to work— Deanna Bettineschi (@DeannaANjax) May 18, 2016
Destiny in tears when thinking about the chance to live on her own. She has the crowd in happy tears😊 pic.twitter.com/3JroDO8QDG— Deanna Bettineschi (@DeannaANjax) May 18, 2016
Her mother in tears too, such a special moment. Her moms so proud of Destiny— Deanna Bettineschi (@DeannaANjax) May 18, 2016
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