Breaking News
More () »

Mission Possible: New housing project in Medina for people with disabilities

One mother’s idea is having a large impact in the developmental disability community.

MEDINA, Ohio — Lisa Morrison saw successful programs for the developmental disability community in other states and wondered, why can’t we have something like this in Ohio? 

That sparked the creation of Integrated Community Solutions. Now, the non-profit has some big plans to improve people’s lives. 

SUBSCRIBE: Get the day's top headlines sent to your inbox each weekday morning with the free 3News to GO! newsletter

Welcome to "art club." On this evening, the project is a holiday reindeer.
It's an exciting part of the week, for crafters, who welcome the chance to meet up with friends. And to feel accepted. Not always easy for those with developmental disabilities.

"First and foremost, we are trying to meet needs that we see," said Lisa Morrison the President of Integrated Community Solutions.

Morrison is the heart of non-profit. As mother of three young adults with autism, she experienced first-hand the need for more social enrichment programs. In addition to art club, ICS also offers game night, movie night and more.

"Most of our participants do have developmental disabilities and we really needed to start something that was just open," said Morrison.

Hannah Petrovich and Kevin Richards met at an art club.

"It's just getting out in the community. It's amazing," remarks Richards.

"And we're very lucky to be in this group. And if we haven't found out about this group, we want to have met amazing friends," said Petrovich.

Ashley and her mom Lisa Trojan find the group very welcoming.

"You can walk in here and it's like they've known you a lifetime," said Trojan.

Not just for Ashley, but for Lisa too.

"You learned more from other parents than I think you do anyone else,” remarked Trojan. “Because they're living the same journey. They're walking it with you. It's a blessing in so many ways."

ICS has even bigger plans in the works.

"There's a question that families like mine have, and that question is what will happen to my child when I'm no longer here?” said Morrison. “So, we are trying to provide at least one answer to that question."

The solution is a residential community allowing for home ownership and for the resident to age in place.

"We do not have enough housing for people with developmental disabilities," said Morrison.

In 2023, ICS will begin raising funds to buy land in Medina. By 2024, the organization hopes to open a community center and then offer houses customized to the needs of the resident.

"We won't build a house before somebody wants it built. So that way, they will be able to decide what's going to go into the house for their loved one," said Morrison.

"If I look down my future, I do want to get out of a house and just have my own place to stay," said Petrovich.

"I really honestly didn't ever think that you could have homeownership for my daughter. I never thought that that was even a possibility," remarked Trojan.

It is all happening fast for a non-profit that just started last year.

"It's moved so quickly and there's such a need for this type of housing. And this is what our families are asking for," said Morrison.

In art club, the reindeer are done, shown off with pride and gratitude, for the community found here.

"I understand this world isn't very kind to people with disabilities, it is hard for us, but I'm happy about this group accepts us," said Petrovich.

With more hurdles ahead, Morrison finds strength knowing she is building a better future for her children.

"They motivate and inspire me every day and this is what I want for them, and this is what I want for their friends. I would want this for anybody," said Morrison.

Before You Leave, Check This Out