KENNEWICK -- At age 24, Alicia Kary no longer has to depend on her aging parents for a place to eat and sleep.
Her new home is in the Edison Terrace South apartments on Edison Street in Kennewick, a federally subsidized project built by a faith-based organization in the Tri-Cities called Shalom Ecumenical Center Affordable Housing.
Each of the 14 apartments provides a bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen with shared laundry facilities.
Alicia, who moved in two weeks ago, is happy to be on her own, said her parents, Ken and Donna Kary of Richland, who adopted their daughter as an infant.
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"We've been working her whole life to get her to this point. There's no question being able to live independently will be very beneficial for her," her father said at the formal dedication of SEC's newest project Wednesday.
The four buildings of Edison Terrace South are the fifth Tri-City project done by SEC using federal housing money to provide long-term rental housing for senior citizens and developmentally disabled adults.
Richard Barchet, president of the Edison Terrace South Committee and chairman of SEC Affordable Housing, said the units provide homes for low-income adults with developmental disabilities who can live independently. The project was supported with $1.6 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and $1 million from the state Department of Commerce.
"We gave the money, but it takes all of you as partners to make this a home for the needy people who will live here," said Renee Greenman, HUD director for the program's Northwest region.
The project, from application for funding to being ready for tenants, was done in less than a year, Greenman noted.
"That is a kudo to you," she told SEC representatives, architect James Stenkamp of Richland and the construction management company, Opp and Seibold Construction of Walla Walla.
All of the units are rented, said Jacquelynne Artis, resident manager for the complex, which was developed by Goodale and Barbieri Co.
SEC has completed 170 units in the Tri-Cities as low-income housing for seniors and disabled adults.
Wednesday's dedication was held in a community room at the apartments, where about two dozen people attended, including officials from the city of Kennewick, clergy from Richland Lutheran Church, Lord of Life Lutheran Church and All Saints' Episcopal Church, state Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, and representatives from SEC, HUD and the state Department of Commerce.
"This is a beautiful witness in this community," said Pastor William Martens of Richland Lutheran Church.
Resident Jeff Golphenee was dusting his furniture and putting things away in his apartment during the dedication.
He said he was excited to have his own place and be on his own.
The freedom of independent living is important to Alicia Kary too, said her mother, Donna.
"It contributes to her sense of self-worth," she said.
Alicia said she will take advantage of being on her own to work on becoming more self-sufficient.
"I will work on my business, which is pet sitting," she said. And when she's not caring for someone else's pet, she said she will care for her own, a little Papillon named Bobby that is Alicia's live-in companion. The complex allows pets.
"We are excited for her, but it gets lonely at our house now having her gone. And we miss the dog too," Ken Kary said.
But the good news is, with her own kitchen, she can prepare dinner when her parents visit, her mother said.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org