Opportunity Enterprises, Inc. (OE) serves individuals with disabilities throughout Northwest Indiana. With facilities in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties, OE maintains over 170 acres and 132,000 square feet of space in 16 different properties. Additionally, OE supports programs and services that operate in 12 additional leased properties.
One such property, known as Lakeside, sits near the beautiful and serene Lake Eliza. This building hosts Day Service programs including Daily Living Skills, Enrichment, and educational Curriculum. The building also provides space for OE to operate its Enriching Possibilities and Renewed Horizons programs where adults with disabilities have many opportunities to learn skills to care for themselves, communicate with others and enjoy life. The grounds of Lake Eliza also is home to Lakeside Apartments which provide accessible housing and independent living for individuals with disabilities.
What is unique about this lakeside property is the vast amount of space affording OE room to expand its physical footprint in order to grow life-enhancing programs reaching more Lake and Porter County residents. The organization and its Board of Directors, through strategic visioning, has big plans for Lakeside.
“We asked our Board to imagine a very special place where barriers don’t exist for people with disabilities,” states Neil Samahon, president/CEO of Opportunity Enterprises, Inc. “Such visioning pushed us to really look at our properties and see a modern, accessible Respite facility sitting on the shore of Lake Eliza,” Samahon states further.
OE currently owns two residential Respite homes that provide relief to those caring for a loved one with a disability. Not only have these homes provided much support to caregivers, but they are places for children and adults to go where they are not only accepted but celebrated.
“The truth is OE has outgrown our current Respite spaces, yet the need for such services continues to grow and the waiting list for respite care is long,” Samahon informs.
Caring for a loved-one who requires 24/7 hands-on care can be lonely, draining and exhausting,” claims Kacie Ensign, chief communications and development officer. “We find many parents and care givers of our clients put their own needs behind the needs of their loved ones. For caregivers to have the ability to be their best for loved ones, they need time to recharge,” Ensign adds.
Such need prompted OE to embark upon a silent phase of the capital campaign to raise $4.7 million for a Respite facility. The new Lakeside Respite building will usher in the next phase of OE’s Lakeside retreat offering safety and security through secured doors with video entry and 24-hour staffing; communal space complete with lake view seating for dining, board games and crafts as well as huge recreation areas, multiple living rooms and a multi-sensory therapeutic room. The facility also will offer a sprawling kitchen in the center of the home. In addition, Lakeside Respite will have amenities that cater to its clients such as Hoyer lifts to safely assist those in wheelchairs. All of this will be offered in a beautiful, natural setting complete with a large outdoor deck with beautiful lake views and a walkout basement.
Through extremely generous donors, 60% of its $4.7 million goal has been raised to date. OE is now opening the campaign to the public in support of raising the remaining funds. “The chance to create a place that houses laughter, peace and acceptance is right in front of us and now we need the public to help make our Respite facility a reality and relief for so many families who rely on such supports,” Samahon explains.
OE plans to break ground on the Lakeside Respite facility in May 2021. For more information regarding amazing project or how you can become involved, contact Kacie Ensign or Jane Koback by calling (219) 464-9621 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also learn more by visiting oppent.org/buildingopportunities.
About Opportunity Enterprises, Inc.
For more than 50 years, Opportunity Enterprises has worked to maximize the self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. OE is in the business of amazing people serving nearly 1,000 people annually with disabilities in Northwest Indiana with over 450 staff and hundreds of volunteers.