CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A former La Quinta Inn in Castle Rock could become an affordable housing facility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities under a new proposal.
Damon Bunch, 23, loves to be part of the cookie-baking process. He’s part of the Wellspring Community in Castle Rock.
"I grew up baking with my grandma,” Bunch said. “I’ve been at it for seven years. I work here in the bakery, so I’m the president of the bakery and the president of the bakery board.”
Wellspring is a community that honors and celebrates adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through day programs and work opportunities.
Bunch lives with his parents in Parker, but he says he's ready to live on his own. That’s why he's thrilled about a project Wellspring is proposing that will convert a 63-unit, three-story La Quinta Inn into a housing facility with 20 studio and 22 one-bedroom apartments on Park Street.
“I’m just excited to kind of have my own space and kind of be able to figure out my own life and put myself out there again and see what the world has for me,” Bunch said.
Nicole DeVries is the executive director of Wellspring and calls the facility invaluable.
"What we're trying to do here is push the limits on what's possible for adults with IDD, and we believe they can live here independently as well as live with this integrated setting,” DeVries said.
While residents will live independently, DeVries says some staff will be on-site to take residents to the grocery store, doctors’ appointments and emergencies.
DeVries says there are 20,000 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Colorado who live with caregivers over the age of 60, so the need for this kind of facility is great.
"It's vitally important because at some point those parents won't be able to care for their loved one long-term,” DeVries said.
Bunch said living around other people he can relate to will make a big difference.
“It’s really hard for people to understand us because it's hard for us to make friends,” Bunch said.
The second of three neighborhood meetings is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. in front of the planning commission and town council.
Council needs to approve these plans in order for the project to move forward and Wellspring is confident they will.
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the waitlist, you can email email@example.com.