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New CILA home planned in Sterling

Published: Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

STERLING – A new CILA home for the developmentally disabled is planned at the corner of West Lefevre Road and Woodburn Street.

The new home will be operated by Francis House, which already runs six homes for the developmentally disabled in Sterling: Casa Willis, Hammett House and Stern Square are 16-person homes; The Willows and the new home are for 8 residents; Greenview and Oakwood are for 6 people.

Francis House, based in Galesburg, also is known by the name it is marketed under – DD Homes.

The building will be similar to the company’s other CILA homes, said Casa Willis Director Justin Connelly.

“It will be run the same,” Connelly said. “Self Help will provide day training services.”

The new home will have CILA (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) designation, as does Greenview, Oakwood and The Willows.

CILA homes differ primarily in the number of people who live in them and how they are funded,” Connelly said. CILA homes, by law, can house no more than 8 people and they are funded by Medicaid waivers.

A petition has been filed with the city to make a zoning ordinance change to accommodate the new building. The petition will be discussed at the next Planning Commission meeting on Feb. 20.

The ordinance would be changed to accommodate the community living arrangement and to change some outdated language, said Joe Martin, that ward’s alderman and a Planning Commission member.

“Some of the wording is regarding ADA standards and there were just some other language problems to fix,” Martin said.

Building and Zoning Superintendent Amanda Schmidt said the code also will be reworded to put in a few restrictions, including how big a community living building can get.

“Some of the zoning code is pretty antiquated, so we’re just changing some of the language,” Schmidt said.

The city’s experience with Francis Homes has been a good one, Martin said.

“There is another home in my ward, and never in my 19 years as alderman have I gotten a complaint,” he said. “They have been good to work with, and this will fly with no problem.”

The company has been in Sterling for 20 years, said Director of Operations Laura Kelly.

“We’ve had an amazing collaborative relationship with Self Help,” Kelly said. “They have been a big part of our success in this area.”

The company hopes to start construction within the next 6 months, Kelly said.

Francis House in Sterling

Existing Francis Home-run group homes for the developmentally disabled in Sterling:

Casa Willis – 910 Woodburn Ave.

Hammett House – 1845 First Ave.

Stern Square – 1328 W. Seventh St.

Greenview CILA – 906 Avenue J

Oakwood CILA – 608 Dillon Ave.

The Willows CILA

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