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.
She said it’s given her opportunities to be independent and helps her and other residents become active in the community.
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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