Village of Merici offers options for independent living

Village of Merici offers options for independent living
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When a person has special needs, their care is often the responsibility of the parents or siblings. But many prefer to be independent. A project at Fort Ben in Lawrence aims to help.

Across the green at Fort Ben, former officers' barracks now house the Village of Merici.

"It's just a dream come true that we've worked on for eight years," said Carolyn McClamroch.

St Angela Merici was the patron saint of the disabled.

Its Mary McClamroch's new address.

"On my doors I have tigers are going to beat Wabash and the other side says tigers rock!" explained Mary McClamroch, 29.

Her younger brother is a Tiger - a wide receiver for Depauw.

Mary is ready for the Monon Bell game.

"If we win it, we will drive from Crawfordsville all the way to Greencastle and celebrate," she said.

Mary is 29 and social. Here at Village of Merici, she lives with 22 others in supported living. They have game night. It's a new community created by families whose children before now had few options.

Mary's mom says the impact so far is exponential.

"Maybe we parents didn't think our children could ever live independently, but now given the chance they are showing us that they can and every day she does something different than I think she could ever do," said Carolyn.

its requires coordinated care with her doctors, who ask if Mary has had any seizures lately. They also remind her to take her medication. Solid sleep will help limit her epileptic seizures.

"I think what they have done is wonderful. I am so excited," said Dr. Kate Kobza, St. Vincent and JWM neurologist. "A lot of these patients end up living at home with their parents which can be very isolating."

"I am thankful and really happy for all the parents that did this because without all their work we wouldn't have this building. How nice it of is!" said Mary.

Village of Merici