Who We Are: In September 1974, through a considerable volunteer effort coupled with the donation of services and funds from civic clubs, foundations, corporations, and individuals, Creative Living I opened 18 apartments on Perry St. In 1986, Creative Living II opened with 16 apartments. Each apartment is designed to be fully accessible to those who are in wheelchairs. With its specially designed shower stalls, countertops, door pulls, and intercom system, Creative Living continues to be recognized as an innovative, cost-effective alternative to skilled nursing facilities, where costs for similar care would increase ten-fold. The
major goal of our residents is to further education by attending a community college, 4-year university, technical school or vocational training. Our residents are motivated individuals who are directing their own lives and personal care.
What We Do:
Mission: Creative Living is a nonprofit organization encouraging independent living for adults with severe physical disabilities by providing wheelchair accessible housing and assistance and by creating a supportive environment for people to learn, work, live and contribute to the community.
Vision: Creative Living is an outstanding model of accessible housing, showcasing the newest advances and adaptations for independent living. Our unique housing complexes offer a continuum of options, from transitional to permanent housing. Our environment helps to address a range of barriers to independent living, including financial, employment and residential barriers. Creative Living enjoys strong financial support from the Columbus community.
Why We're Important: What would happen if Creative Living did not exist? Envision our 34 current residents who most certainly would be living in skilled nursing facilities because of lack of suitable housing (affordable and accessible), lack of onsite assistance, aging parents unable to care for them, physical problems which family members couldn’t handle, no family available, isolation and inability to care for themselves. Skilled nursing facilities have made great strides but still do not provide for the needs of young individuals with severe disabilities. Placement in a skilled facility is difficult for a quadriplegic. Skilled care for several hours a day is a burden on staff. The cost is an average of 60,000 a year. Statistical research has clearly demonstrated that a combination of rehabilitation, subsidized education and housing which allows productivity and independence is a much better bargain.
How We Impact the Community: Creative Living benefits the entire community because we provide awareness and education for disability issues. Many visit us to see the accessible housing, ask for speakers, meet residents and gain a different perspective and greater understanding of independent living. Creative Living has served as an important model. Although the mission is to provide housing and services for people with disabilities, far more has been accomplished. Former residents have gone into the community and are now tax-paying citizens leading independent lives. There is awareness promoted by the organization and the residents to visitors who have come to discuss and observe what we do and how we do it. The visitors range from a young person who has just had a spinal cord injury and thinks life is over to architects, social workers, college students and contractors. Creative Living has and will continue to play an important role.
How You Can Help: Here are some ways in which community members can support Creative Living:
Donated Products, Materials & Services
Commemorative Gifts & Memorials
Become a Trustee
Connect with Creative Living
Executive Director: Marilyn Frank
Board Chair: David Berentz, Grange Insurance