Frequently Asked Questions
1. What inspired the creation of Solon Community Living?
June 1, 1995. The day our lives turned upside down. Our two dear children, Julie & Alex, received a diagnosis of Fragile X Syndrome, a devastating genetic disease that causes cognitive delay, severe anxiety and speech impairment. Our children would require care for the rest of their lives… To cope, my wife and I formed the Fragile X Alliance of Ohio, a family support group. We helped create the first Fragile X medical clinic in northeast Ohio. I also served 12 years as a volunteer member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities while finishing a successful 37-year career in business. We were still haunted by the question all parents of loved ones with disabilities have — Where will our children live and what will their quality of life be when we are no longer here to care for them? We founded Solon Community Living, an innovative pilot housing and living option, to address these concerns by using a person-centered approach to engage direct care and support professionals and by sharing public and private resources. Unlike some traditional housing for individuals with disabilities, our young adults and others will have access to the community by being within walking distance of city amenities. They will live in a quality, sustainable, supportive and safe neighborhood to address their housing and personal needs when we are no longer here. The challenge to find qualified caregivers, transportation and affordable housing for individuals with disabilities is urgent. We hope this model can be replicated to serve greater numbers of individuals with disabilities and meet this critical need. — Ara & Leslie Bagdasarian
2. Who will live in the Solon Community Living neighborhood?
SCL is intended for individuals who qualify under the ADA definition of “disability” (i.e. developmental disabilities including Fragile X Syndrome, Autism, Down Syndrome and other spectrum disorders) and their associated support providers.
3. Where is Solon Community Living?
SCL is ideally situated at the southwest corner of Portz Parkway and Aurora Road (Route 43) in Solon, Ohio, walking distance from the Solon Recreation Center, library, city parks and shopping.
4. What are the financial obligations to live here?
There are three components:
1. Stakeholders Fee;
2. Resident Rent (max of 30% of resident’s income);
3. Monthly operating and sustainability contribution from family
5. What do the monthly rent and fees above cover?
A. Professional property management and long-term sustainability of the community, including all utilities, ongoing maintenance, capital improvements and other services (i.e. landscaping, snow plowing). Families/residents are responsible for furnishing and maintaining the interior of their home.
B. Minimum of 1 trained staff on-site to provide 24/7 supplemental support and assistance to residents.
6. What will the homes in SCL look like? How big are they?
High quality townhomes will be 1-floor with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and will be approximately 1,100 square feet with a 1 car garage.
7. Why is Solon Community Living unique?
Solon Community Living is an innovative pilot housing and living option creating a quality, uniquely accessible, financially sustainable, supportive and safe neighborhood to address the housing and personal needs of individuals with disabilities. This will be accomplished by using a person-centered approach to engage direct care and support professionals and by sharing public and private resources. Townhomes will face a common green space so residents can take a walk, have a cookout and interact with each other. All vehicle traffic will be to the backside of the homes. This is based on the “pocket neighborhood” concept of Washington state architect, Ross Chapin, which encourages a strong sense of community where neighbors can see and develop relationships with each other.
8. Is SCL one-of-a-kind?
At this point, in Cuyahoga County, it is, but we hope this model can be replicated to serve greater numbers of individuals with disabilities to meet the critical need.
9. If residents need help or supportive care, how does that work?
The family or guardian of the resident can work with the individual’s Support Administrator (SA), assigned by the county board of DD (if applicable), to arrange the individual support services needed by the resident. Typically, these services are paid for by Ohio Medicaid waivers, private resources or a combination of the two. Residents will have free choice of their personal care provider. If they already have a caregiver/agency working with them, they don’t have to change. If they do not, they will need to choose one. In addition, there will be on-site trained staff to provide 24/7 oversight for the neighborhood. Yet-to-be determined educational and social activities and other additional services will be offered.
It is important to note that Solon Community Living is a neighborhood with supports but is not a direct care provider.
10. Why was Solon chosen as the location?
According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, they are serving over 508 Solon residents. The location is within walking distance of the Solon Community Center, which runs the Blue Ribbon program providing numerous adaptive recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The library, shopping and parks are also nearby.
11. Has the community supported the Solon Community Living project?
In the 2020 primary election, the voters of Solon approved special zoning with an overwhelming 83% positive vote! The caring and forward-thinking leadership and citizens of Solon have been very supportive to help us meet this critical need.
12. What is the expected groundbreaking date for SCL?
We continue to communicate with families interested in a home for their loved one. Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, our tentative groundbreaking has been pushed to 2022.
If you’re looking for more information, reach out by going to our Contact Us page.