Stable health is bringing Josie Nordman’s dreams to life

  An artists’ rendering of the
  proposed homes for people
  with developmental
  disabilities in Flossmoor. 

  (Provided image) 

After a series of meetings over the last six months, Flossmoor village board members Monday gave final approval to a plan to develop apartments for developmentally disabled adults.

When completed, the apartments will be the first of their kind in Illinois.

In a unanimous vote, village board members passed an ordinance authorizing a planned unit development and allowing necessary permits to be issued for the New Hope Center apartments on 1032 and 1038 Leavitt Avenue, just west of downtown Flossmoor.

This approval includes a 30-year restricted covenant stating that the apartments can only be used to house the developmentally disabled.

Approval came at the eighth meeting between New Hope and village officials. New Hope Executive Director Tim Knapp said he was happy that the apartments received final approval from the village.

“We were very hopeful that this would be the outcome,” Knapp said, adding he was fortunate to have team members who found a location in Flossmoor with community amenities that will make the apartments at success.

New Hope has been providing services to people with developmental disabilities since 1960 and currently has 14 group homes in South Cook County and Eastern Will County.

But the apartments in Flossmoor will be something new. They will be designed so that developmentally disabled people can live independently and receive a minimum of services from New Hope. Knapp has said he expects tenants will be people between 22 and 35 who are high school graduates and have jobs.

Knapp explained that the apartment complex’s proximity to amenities in downtown Flossmoor – the train station, library, restaurants, post office and more — is perfect and “you couldn’t ask for a better spot.”

Mayor Paul Braun said the Flossmoor community will be a great place for the New Hope Center apartments.

“We are very excited for New Hope as one of our newest community partners,” Mayor Braun said. “They have been wonderful to work with so far and we’ll be excited to see their construction commence.”

Knapp explained although they accomplished many of their goals, there are many important steps that have to be made.

“The next step is to get the building permits and finalize funding and start construction hopefully in July and wrap it up nine or 10 months later,” Knapp said. “Then hopefully individuals can get on the waiting list for a new apartment.”

Despite the work that lies ahead, he said it’s easy to remain positive since it’s such a rewarding experience.

“There are so many folks out there who are looking for this opportunity and it’s a great experience because there isn’t anything richer in life than to help another person,” Knapp said.

Under the approved plan, New Hope will develop six apartments at the former Martsci Montessori School building and the house just to the north. The house is to be torn down. Knapp said four apartments would be constructed in the Montessori building and two in the structure to be built on the site of the house.

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