August 21, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
70°F

Walk celebrates independence

Residents of Medina Creative Housing celebrated their independence Thursday with a half-mile walk to their dog day care business, Medina Creative Play on Grand Boulevard in Medina Township. The organization helps more than 500 Medina County residents with developmental disabilities live an independent lifestyle. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

Residents of Medina Creative Housing celebrated their independence Thursday with a half-mile walk to their dog day care business, Medina Creative Play on Grand Boulevard in Medina Township. The organization helps more than 500 Medina County residents with developmental disabilities live an independent lifestyle. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

Members of the Medina Creative Housing community gathered to celebrate the country’s, and their, independence Thursday. Executive Director Diane DePasquale-Hagerty said the fifth annual Independence Walk “is a visual display of everything our residents have accomplished.”

After the half-mile walk, residents participated in games, listened to live music and enjoyed a cookout.

The community consists of more than 500 people, some of whom are employed by the nonprofit and live in the 51 apartments on its campus in Medina.

Residents work in a greenhouse that supplies fresh produce to the community, run a dog day care business and roast coffee beans.

DePasquale-Hagerty said the mission of her organization is “to develop housing and quality support to enable individuals with disabilities to live with dignity and opportunity.”

Medina Creative Housing recently had its funding from United Way of Medina County cut to zero as a result of United Way’s funding restructuring.

“We have 325 people on a waiting list to become a part of this community,” DePasquale-Hagerty said.

She said some of her residents lost their jobs because of the funding cut.

DePasquale-Hagerty said the organization will have to generate funding from other sources.

She said county commissioners have pledged money through the Medina County Commissioners Charity Ball, which raises funds for charity, to help make up the difference.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.