Three years ago, the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities began a journey to give young people with disabilities more options to receive services and supports in their home communities.
After a long search to find the right property, challenges brought on by a global pandemic and several other bumps along the way, LCBDD is proud to announce that their new multi-system youth home — on Tollgate Road in Etna Township — has begun serving children and teens.
“We are excited that this home can finally open, to meet a very urgent need in our county” said LCBDD Superintendent Jason Umstot.
The six-bed home will provide a local option for county residents, age 10-18, who have developmental disabilities and need out-of-home placement.
From 2017 to 2019 Licking County saw a 59 percent increase in the number of youth being served by the Licking County Children and Family First Council. 33 percent of these youth also have a developmental disability diagnosis.
This number has continued to rise, and some of these crisis situations have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past, youth who need to be placed outside their home would have to go outside the county — and sometimes out of the state — to find residential options to meet their needs.
“Having an option for these youth in Licking County will keep them close to their families and the support systems they need to be successful,” Umstot said. “It will also help maintain the consistent structures they need to continue to thrive when they return home.”
LCBDD is partnering with I Am Boundless, which will provide 24/7 staffing for the home.
Construction of the $1.3 million house was funded by the Good Family Trust. Charles and Lois Good, of Etna Township, established the trust in the 1980s to care for their son Lyle, who was supported by LCBDD. When Lyle died in 2018, LCBDD became the recipient of the remaining funds. After consulting with the trustee, it was clear that construction of a home would align with the Good family’s wishes.
Thank you to County Commissioner Rick Black, Jeremiah Wagner, Legislative Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and Dr. Patrick Maynard, President/CEO of IAmBoundless, for giving remarks at our Sept. 21 ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony.