The first Murchadha House for Those with Exceptional Needs held its grand opening and ribbon cutting Friday in Cottam.
“We’re just really excited and we’re really proud,” Murchadha House President Sandy Murphy said Friday. “We’re just thrilled that we had this dream and were able to see it come to a reality.”
When Sandy and her husband Darrin, who works in the construction industry, heard about the long waiting list for supported living housing, the Kingsville couple started a house-building charity and named it Murchadha using a Gaelic word for Murphy. Their son Joshua won’t live in the new house but does have exceptional needs and that’s how the Murphys learned of the tremendous need for supportive housing.
Murchadha House became a registered non-profit charity in January and construction started in June.
Beginning Jan. 1, Community Living Essex County will lease and manage the house for four youths with exceptional needs. When they become adults, the house will transition to an adult home so they won’t have to move to a new place, Murphy said.
The Murphys donated the land but the house was built with donated materials and labour. More than 30 companies helped build the $550,000 house and it wouldn’t have happened without the community support, she said.
“We’re very excited and proud,” she said. “We’re grateful to everybody that has contributed to it. We couldn’t do it alone that’s for sure.”
The idea is to build accessible houses and rent them to an agency or charity that can provide the care needed for residents. Murphy said they wanted to have the mortgage on the house be reasonable so the rent could be affordable to the residents and their families and allow people with intellectual disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community.