Southtown Star | BY EVAN F. MOORE | Oct 26, 2014
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Thursday in Matteson for a residential facility for people with disabilities.
Southwick Place, 5150 Southwick, is another project of the Over The Rainbow Association, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the quality of life for people with physical disabilities, according to its Facebook page.
Southwick Place will consist of 40 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments designed for resident accessibility and self-sufficiency. It is adjacent to Rainbow Village, a similar 25-unit property, and is located near Interstate 57 and Lincoln Highway.
“There’s an incredible need in Illinois for housing for people with physical disabilities,” said Over The Rainbow executive director Eric Huffman, who emceed Thursday’s event. “We have projects going up all over the state. This was an area that we needed to serve.”
Over The Rainbow, founded in 1974, was the main developer of the project, funded by lenders, state agencies and strategic partners. The Illinois Housing Development Authority and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Federal Home Loan Bank assisted in making Southwick Place a reality.
Those on hand Thursday included U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-2nd; state Rep. Al Riley, D-Olympia Fields; and a representative from Matteson Mayor Andre Ashmore’s office.
Some residents of Rainbow Village — which was completed in 2008 — also attended.
Huffman said the waiting list from the original building played a part in Southwick Place being constructed.
“There was nothing but support for a new building,” Huffman said. “The waiting list was so big.”
The facility will include an outdoor exercise area, a library and a computer room.
The development of Southwick Place included the suggestions of Rainbow Village residents such as Elisha Banks.
“We had a lot of suggestions,” she said. “People who think they had to be dependent on others now can rely on themselves. It’s a great opportunity.”
Construction is well underway, with an estimated completion date this spring, according to the Over The Rainbow Association.
For more information on the new building, call (773) 663-5131.