Rotary Golf 2024

Coventry adds respite programming

by | Oct 25, 2023 | Area News, Latest

For over 20 years, The Coventry Reserve has provided life enrichment programs for adults with special needs.

Located at 2004 Parker Road in St. Paul since 2005, the campus and programs have grown to serve the community — and now it is growing again.

In May, the nonprofit fulfilled a longtime dream of Co-founder and Executive Director Darlene Blakey with the purchase of the neighboring property to the north, which includes a house and a large barn.

The home was quickly reconfigured to be used as a Respite House where Coventry participants can arrange to stay one weekend per month.

For caregivers of adults with special needs, the structured home offers a break.

“Parents need a break,” Outreach and Development Coordinator Deborah Crosby said. “When you are dealing with any kind of disability, it’s a 24-7 kind of thing. Marriages breakup at a rate of 80 percent when disability is involved. “If parents aren’t trying to find ways to process and decompress, it’s going to tear them up,” Crosby added.

For Coventry students, a weekend at the respite house provides a social outing with increased independence. Meals, medications and additional support is provided by Coventry employees who know the students. The weekend away includes going to town for activities on Saturday, attending a church service on Sundays and eating at a restaurant after church.

The house has four bedrooms — including one bedroom with two beds — for up to five adults. The kitchen has lowered countertops and a microwave drawer to encourage those with wheelchairs to participate in preparing meals. The bathrooms have extra wide doorways, and the showers are equipped with stools and a handheld shower head.

A comfy area inside the home where residents can relax.

The barn on the property will be developed into the new home of Powered to Move, an Allen nonprofit that provides adapted physical fitness and social opportunities for adults with special needs.

With nine acres of land, Coventry will continue expanding indefinitely. There are plans to add more classroom space to the campus and expand the kitchen for a new culinary program next year. Crosby says they eventually want to build dorm rooms for students, as well as a few small houses for additional respite programming.

“Some of the parents aren’t ready to let go and let them stay for the weekend,” Crosby said. “They’ve had that person and the responsibility of that person for so long.”

Coventry has 52 students, all with disabilities, that range in age from 18 to 62 with an average age of 35.

“Their parents don’t get that empty nest syndrome,” Crosby said. “By the time their kids are 40 or 45, how do they let go of something you’ve had the responsibility of for so long?”

Respite programming is twofold. It gives caregivers a break, but also reminds them that they are not going to live forever — and it helps prepare students to do more for themselves. After a weekend away, when they go home their parents see that they are capable of more and start expecting more from them.

Because many of the students are not prepared to live a dorm room or rental home lifestyle, the nonprofit hopes to expand its programs to include a residential program.

“We are trying to help them learn to prepare their child,” Crosby said. “They are not going to be here forever. They have to make plans for when they are no longer here.”

By Jeremy Hallock

Visit The Wylie News. Subscribe today and support local journalism in your community.

Subscribe RH Love

0 Comments

Order photos

Related News

District budget update

District budget update

Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Scott Roderick gave an update on the 2024-2025 budget. Property values were previously projected to grow by 3.5%, but Roderick said the Collin County Central Appraisal District’s (CCAD) new estimate is now 1% due to...

read more
New fire tower, personnel needed

New fire tower, personnel needed

Fire Chief Brandon Blythe outlined a proposal for a new training tower to replace the current tower, which was constructed by WFR personnel in 2002. Courtesy of Wylie F-R The College Park development saga continued last week. After viewing a third proposed site plan...

read more
Appraisal notices mailed by county says CCAD

Appraisal notices mailed by county says CCAD

Collin County property values will take center stage as property owners will soon see how much the county thinks their property is worth.  Collin Central Appraisal District (CCAD) has been busy collecting and entering information in preparation to generate...

read more
Award, five-year plan presented

Award, five-year plan presented

Wylie Fire Station No. 2 was presented with the Life Save Award at the Tuesday, April 9 regular council meeting for saving the life of a man experiencing cardiac arrest who only had a 9% chance of survival.  Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News During a work session at last...

read more
Early voting starts April 22

Early voting starts April 22

Residents from Collin County cities with upcoming general elections will head to the polls later this month to begin the early voting process to elect city council members in contested races.  The first day of early voting is Monday, April 22 and continues...

read more
Run For Our Heroes set for April 27

Run For Our Heroes set for April 27

An annual spring free event that honors and supports local veterans and first responders is back for the 13th year. Opening ceremonies for this year’s 1LT Robert F. Welch III Run For Our Heroes begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27 at Olde City Park downtown. The...

read more
Public Works director highlights future needs

Public Works director highlights future needs

As Wylie has grown in the last 15 years, so have the needs of the department responsible for maintaining the city’s infrastructure. In a presentation to city council last week, Public Works Director Tommy Weir highlighted multiple administration and facility needs...

read more
Commercial, industrial development top $1 billion

Commercial, industrial development top $1 billion

The state of Wylie’s economic development efforts, along with a substantial amount of data to back it up, was presented to city council last month. In the review of expenditures, accomplishments and economic development highlighted by the Wylie Economic Development...

read more
Order photos