St. Louis Center: Serving Those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Since 1960, priests from the Servants of Charity Congregation have provided for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of more than 800 children and adult residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) at its St. Louis Center located in Chelsea, Mich. Fifty years later, the congregation began updating its facilities and launched a capital campaign to construct a new and modern St. Louis Guanella Village. Four new children’s homes for 20 minors were built, each with five bedrooms; kitchen, dining, living and sensory / activity rooms; and an open work space for St. Louis Center caregivers. The dedication is scheduled for June 2018. Today, there are 59 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities between the ages of 5 to 69, who call St. Louis Center their home.
According to the Center’s CEO Fr. Enzo Addari, “Children and adults with I/DD deserve to live with the same dignity as anyone else in the community, and we are striving to create a new concept with an integrated community that contains the residents living side-by-side with families in a safe, secure environment.”
The St. Louis Center recognized the benefit of building an endowment and reached out to the Catholic Foundation. “Our partnership with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan is an important opportunity to create awareness of our ministry and needs among members of our Catholic faith community who share our values and are willing to support life in all forms,” Fr. Addari said.
“Our need is great. We’re working to meet an annual operating budget of about $4.2 million. While we just raised $10 million in Legacy Capital Campaign funds, there’s more we can do through the generosity of God’s good people” he said.
Please help the St. Louis Center love and care for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
With improved health care, many adults with I/DD are living well into their 60s. More than 75 percent of Americans with I/DD live with their families and more than 25 percent of family care providers are over the age of 60. Considering the aging Baby Boom population, the need for residential facilities is growing.
“Historically, our society didn’t know how to deal with people with I/DD, but today we celebrate their love and humanity,” Fr. Addari said. “We thank you for joining us in our mission of serving bread and the Lord to those in our care.”
St. Louis Center is a caring, residential, family living and learning environment providing for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Please support their work through a contribution to their endowment. Learn more at their website and join their email list to receive their quarterly newsletter and event updates.