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New Apartments for Developmentally Disabled Open in Branson

BRANSON, Mo. - A Taney County organization is fulfilling a pressing need in the community by opening apartments for the developmentally disabled, thanks to a grant from the Department of Housing and Development.
BRANSON, Mo. -- A Taney County organization is fulfilling a pressing need in the community, thanks to a grant from the Department of Housing and Development.

The Combs-Redfern Apartments offer safe, affordable, long-term housing for county residents who are not capable of the semi-independent living offered by Developmental Communications other housing facility in Branson.

Many of the developmentally disabled individuals slated to move into the new apartment complex, will be going "out on their own" for the very first time.

"I've been counting down the days since I can remember," says future resident Terra Caudill.

Caudill is one of 14 residents set to move into the Combs-Redfern Apartments, a facility that joins the growing area managed by Taney County Developmental Connections.

"This is to where I'm going to be on my own, my own independence," says Caudill, "I can cook some stuff, have people there, and everything like that. It's just going to be more of a normal life for me."

The new semi-assisted living facility is part of a $2.1 million capitol grant from HUD, that doesn't' have to be paid back if the organization meets specific standards over the next 40 years.

"It's a big deal for a lot of people here, because of lot of people have been waiting for a place to live since the last one opened," says Developmental Communications Executive Director, Max Lytle, referring to the organization's other residential facility, that is even more independent living based.

"What we're trying to do is develop different levels of service, based on levels of need," says Lytle, "if we can provide people with a safe and affordable place to live, the rest is fairly easy."

"I've always thought I was kind of semi-independent anyway," says Kelly Weinstein.

The future resident says after having a live in aid for all of her life, she is a little concerned about taking this next step "it will be feel really weird because I won't have a staff in my house, 24/7."

Organizers say a group of 15 caretakers will rotate shifts at the facility, so there's a constant presence for those who need them.

"Even though you have a disability, I'm the type of person that i don't want any help unless I need it," says Terra Cudill, "I don't ask for help unless i need it, but I know it's there if I do."
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