Affordable housing for adults with developmental disabilities

Published: Apr. 13, 2019 at 10:25 AM CDT
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Mary Anne Oemichen and Susan Wallitsch are the president and vice president of Home of Our Own.

The group is working to create an apartment complex for adults with developmental disabilities in New Glarus.

Wallitsch says her son Frankie, who is 27, wants to be independent.

"He wants to have his own place, he doesn't want to live in mom and dad's basement anymore," Wallitsch said. "He wants to start a new life."

Oemichen says her 26-year old daughter Amy wants the same sense of freedom to live on her own.

The two mothers began talking several years ago about what happens to their children with developmental disabilities when the parents grow too old to care for them.

The conversation sparked the founding of Home of Our Own and the project has taken off since then.

The group has already secured a building location and a tax credit to construct a forty unit apartment complex on Elmer Road.

Oemichen says the project as already seen great excitement.

"We probably have about 20 families that have reached out to us that have said they are interested in being on a waiting list or preferably moving in," she said.

Rent will be affordable so those adults with autism, active seniors, or lower-income families can live in a safe space and pay their bills.

Another part of the project is providing an environment where those with developmental disabilities can feel comfortable.

"We wanted them to stay and they want to stay in their own communities or communities that look very familiar," said Oemichen.

Home of Our Own is working to fundraise $500,000 to break ground on the project through a partnership with 100 Extraordinary Women.

To learn more about their non-profit partnerships and the project, click