Rainbow Village Home In Parc Argonne Assists Developmentally Disabled

By Carol Arnett

Emerson CEO David Farr shakes hands with the first resident of the Rainbow Village home in Parc Argonne. Emerson paid for the home and renovations.

The newest Rainbow Village home was dedicated last week in the Parc Argonne neighborhood. This is the 53rd home the organization has developed, and the 8th in  the Florissant area.

Rainbow Village is an organization that provides homes for people with developmental disabilities. The organization is celebrating its 40-year anniversary this year. Director of Development and Community Relations Michael Rea explained how the organization works.

An agency that provides services to the developmentally disabled contacts Rainbow village when they identify tow or three individuals that could live together. The agency will let Rainbow Village know the requirements for the home, such as accessibility. They will also let Rainbow Village know the area in which they would like the home. This is based on where the residents work and where their family and friends live.

Rainbow Village then finds a home that meets the requirements, buys it, makes any necessary modifications, and moves residents in.

“The goal is that residents can live here for life,” Rea said. Rainbow Village owns and maintains the home, and can make modifications as needed as the residents age or their needs change.

Rea said that the organization normally relies on fundraising for the down payment and modifications. In this case, however, Emerson funded the house entirely, including the purchase price and renovation costs.

County Executive Charlie Dooley spoke at the dedication. “This investment in the house is good for all,” Dooley said. He said there were 43 Rainbow Village homes in St. Louis County. “They provide peace of mind for residents and their families.”

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, Emerson CEO David Farr and members of Rainbow Village, along with the first resident, outside the home.

Emerson CEO David Farr also spoke. He said that he learned about Rainbow Village by doing some volunteer work with his daughter. He was impressed by the organziation. “They are truly unique,” he said. “Rainbow Village, like Emerson, continues to find innovations ways to do things.” He added that many people had helped him in his life, and this home was a way of helping others.

The home will have three residents, with room for a fourth. All three residents are wheelchair-bound and the house was modified to accommodate them.

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