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. Where is Solon Community Living?
SCL is ideally situated at the southwest corner of Portz Parkway and Aurora Road (Route 43) in Solon, Ohio, in close proximity to the Solon Recreation Center, library, city parks and shopping. See the site plan here.
3. Why was Solon chosen as the location?
The Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities serves over 508 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.
4. 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.
5. Who will live in the Solon Community Living neighborhood?
Our residents will be adults (over 23 years of age) within a broad range of intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities. Our families will be active, willing and enthusiastic participants embracing the community and its philosophies as well as its practices.
6. 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 to residents’ personal care providers, there will be a Neighborhood Manager and Resident Assistants to provide 24/7 supplemental support and assistance.
It is important to note that Solon Community Living is a neighborhood with supports but is not a direct care provider.
7. What will the homes in SCL look like? How big are they?
Some homes will be 1-floor with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and will be approximately 1,100 square feet with a 1 car garage. We are also reviewing other designs with input from potential residents and their families to better meet their needs and preferences.
8. Why is Solon Community Living unique?
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 “pocket neighborhood” concept of Ross Chapin, architect, 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.
9. What are the financial obligations to live at Solon Community Living?
There are two components:
1. One-time stakeholders fee. This supports the development and construction of Solon Community Living. It is our plan that additional donations will be made to reduce the amount that families will have to contribute.
2. Monthly operating and sustainability (O&S) contribution from resident and their family.
10. What does the monthly O&S contribution cover?
1. Professional property management and long-term sustainability of the community, including all utilities (except cable TV), 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.
2. The salaries of a Neighborhood Manager and Resident Assistants who will be on-site to provide 24/7 supplemental support to residents. This will be in addition to the personal caregivers that some residents will have within their own homes.
3. Entertainment/enrichment/education programming and other services will be offered based on input from residents and their families.
11. What is the timeline for SCL?
1. We continue to communicate with families interested in a home for their loved one.
2. We will start taking applications in late 2021
3. The COVID-19 pandemic has tentatively pushed our groundbreaking to 2022.
If you’re looking for more information, reach out by going to our Contact Us page.