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
The Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities serves over 500 residents of Solon. The location is in close proximity to 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.
See the site plan here.
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.
Unanimously supported by members of Solon City Council, Planning Commission and Mayor Kraus.
Our site plan was unanimously approved by the City of Solon City Council on Monday, October 17, 2022.
Solon Community Living is an innovative 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.
Based on the unique “pocket neighborhood” concept, all homes face a common green space so residents will have many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and interact with their neighbors. Residents will have the choice to enjoy their personal living space or take advantage of the community building and public areas.
The first step is to complete our Statement of Interest.
Our Community Director will contact you after completion of the Statement of Interest.
There will be 6 buildings with 14 homes (1 Bedroom/1 Bath and 2 Bedroom/1-2 Bath) for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There will also be second floor apartments for resident assistants and some care staff. The seventh building will be a community clubhouse.
Some SCL residents will have their own personal care staff with them but there will also be 2 Resident Assistants who will live on the property for oversight, backup, and emergencies. Our Community Director will also be on-site and available during scheduled hours. Solon Community Living is a neighborhood with supports but is not a direct care provider. We have hired our Community Director. Check out the “Director’s Corner.”
All homes will have kitchens for residents to cook their own meals. However, if a la carte items like meal or cleaning services are desired by residents, we will investigate the costs of providing them.
Visit the Solon Community section of our website for more details.
There will be a handbook provided to residents and families offering guidelines for keeping SCL a safe and comfortable place for all community members in a collaborative and respectful environment.
Families will have two distinct costs associated with joining Solon Community Living. There is a one-time stakeholder fee to secure housing in the neighborhood. In addition, there is a monthly rent and community fee for the duration residents live at SCL. Current projected costs were illustrated in detail during the Family Orientation meetings and can be shared once families fill out a Statement of Interest.
- We continue to communicate with families interested in a home for their loved ones.
- The COVID-19 pandemic and related delays/cost increases have pushed our tentative groundbreaking to 2023.