A housing project years in the making will take a big step toward completion Friday.
A ground-breaking ceremony for Kennewick Perry Suites -- a 14-unit apartment complex for adults with disabilities -- starts at 10:30 a.m.
The complex, at Perry Street and Kennewick Avenue, is expected to be ready for residents in about a year, with officials planning to begin taking applications in about nine months.
"I can't even express what a feeling of satisfaction it is" to be at this point, said Sherry Erickson of Kennewick, a founder of Modern Living Services, the local nonprofit that has worked to put together the apartment project.
The complex is for adults with intellectual or physical disabilities, with one unit for an on-site manager. The almost $3 million project is being paid for with money from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, a Housing Trust Fund grant through the state Department of Commerce and funding from Benton County and the city of Kennewick. The price tag includes land, construction, fees and ongoing maintenance.
In the Tri-Cities "there's a great need for affordable housing" for disabled adults, Erickson said, noting that many live with their families, often aging parents. The seed for Kennewick Perry Suites grew out of a support group she started about 51/2 years ago for moms with children who have intellectual disabilities.
One mom had a daughter about to finish high school, and talk turned to the challenges and options after that step.
Eventually, the apartment complex vision was born. The local Shalom Ecumenical Center Affordable Housing acted as a mentor, with Goodale & Barbieri Co. in Spokane working as the consultant developer. Opp & Seibold General Construction in Walla Walla is the general contractor and the Richland-based James Stenkamp is the architect.
The units are designed with specific needs of the disabled and caregivers in mind.
The complex will have a community garden open to residents and neighbors -- a feature Erickson envisions as building connections. Other features, such as a gazebo, may be added in the future.
Elena Brown of Kennewick, another leader of the apartment project, said it feels good to see so much progress made after so many years of work
"If you have a dream, just go for it and try to make it happen. Because it can happen," Brown said. "It's really exciting. When people are working together like this, great things can happen."
Modern Living Services: www.modernlivingservices.org.
-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; email@example.com; Twitter: @saraTCHerald