New duplex available for people with disabilities - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New duplex available for people with disabilities


A duplex is now available to people in the Independence area with physical and/or mental disabilities.

Buchanan County for People with Mental Disabilities now has six homes. It's a non-profit organization helping people with mental and/or physical disabilities live more independently.

"We currently have three now in Independence, one in Fairbank, one in Jesup and one in Winthrop," said Glen Meskimen.

The group was in the market to build a new duplex in Independence, when this one came up for sale through the Wilma Priebe estate.

One half of the duplex already has one tenant. Someone will also live in the lower-level. They'll share a kitchen and laundry machines, but have their own bedrooms, living space and dining area. Tenants go through an application process and must pay rent.

"They are an active part of the community just like anybody else. We want them to be an active part. We want them to live independently. We want them to get out and work just like you and I are doing currently," said Meskimen.

Meskimen said there used to be a care facility in Buchanan County for people with disabilities. When it closed, there was no place for people to live anymore, which is how this current Buchanan County housing group came to be. Meskimen said it's just an avenue to help people with disabilities live on their own and have responsibilities just like everyone else.

"Everybody's been welcome and that's what we want to do, make sure our consumers in our houses are just as welcome as anybody else is," he said.

The housing organization is totally funded by grant money and donations. Buchanan County Housing for People with Mental Disabilities is already taking applications for the lower level of the duplex. The other half of the duplex should be available for tenants next year.

For more information, click here.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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