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St. Louis Guanella Village taking shape

Photo. by Kelly Flaherty. Crews from Stante Excavation clearing the land at the corner of Old 12 and Hayes Road.

Chelsea Update would like to thank Joe Yekulis for the information in this story and Kelly Flaherty for the photos.)

When the St. Louis School for Exceptional Boys was built in Chelsea in 1960 for 60 boys from the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, there was scant assistance available for parents who were raising their children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

That year, the Archdiocese brought the Servants of Charity congregation from Italy to the United States to manage a new residential program for young boys with special needs, and St. Louis Center had begun.

During the past 60 years, St. Louis Center has grown with the addition of residential facilities for adult men and women with I/DD; including Knights of Columbus Hall (1975), St. Joseph Hall (1984), and Fr. Guanella Hall (1988). In 2011, a Family Welcome Center was added, and in 2014, Fr. Guanella Hall was upgraded to an Assisted Living facility for older adults with I/DD. In 2018, four new Children’s Homes were added in June to usher in the new “St. Louis Guanella Village,” and the residential population grew to 70 people.

St. Louis Guanella Village is an innovative, new “Intentional Community” for persons with I/DD, and the outdated buildings of the 1960s are now giving way to more modern facilities specifically designed for the special needs of the I/DD community.

This “Intentional Community” concept will create a residential neighborhood for families who have children with I/DD, regardless of age, so they can live in a place where they feel safe, live judgment free, and enjoy the company of others who share the same issues and needs.

On July 15, 2019, the Servants of Charity broke ground on Phase II of the Project which includes:

1 – Single family detached home with an attached garage (1650 sf).

1 – A two family duplex home (1200 sf each unit).

1 – Six-bedroom cottage home for adult male residents.

1 – Four-bedroom cottage home for adult male residents

1 – Administration Building to use as a leasing office for future homes being built in the Village.

The single family and duplex homes will be available for lease to those who have a family member with I/DD. The cottages will provide more up-to-date living spaces for adults already living at St. Louis Center.

The move-in for the new buildings under construction will occur in late summer 2020, and the current master plan calls for additional single family duplexes, single family detached homes and more cottage homes for adult residents with I/DD in the future.

For more information on leasing a home in the future Village, contact Amy Fielder at 734-475-8430, or [email protected].

To support St. Louis Center, contact Development Director Christina Ferris at [email protected].

Architectural Drawing by Marco Silveri
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