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Your voter-approved funding is helping individuals with disabilities move closer to independent living

Board of County Commissioners allocates $500,000 grant for construction of Unity on Park in Castle Rock

Posted on January 24, 2024 2024Economic FoundationsHealth and Human ServicesNews and Events


Pictured: Maria Ciano, Executive Director, Douglas County Housing Partnership; Mayor Jason Gray, Castle Rock; Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas; Damon Bunch, Wellspring Community; Douglas County Commissioner George Teal; Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon; Nicole DeVries, Executive Director, Wellspring Community; Artie Lehl, Deputy Director, Douglas County Housing Partnership

How do you define community? For some adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, community means living independently in their own apartment, but with the support of others close by. Your dedication through voter-approved funding is helping these adults find community in Douglas County.

During a regular business meeting Tuesday, Jan. 23, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners allocated a $500,000 grant for construction of Unity on Park, a new living community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Funding for the grant is from the Developmental Disabilities Mill Levy, which voters approved in 2001. The one-mill property tax is dedicated to services for persons with developmental disabilities and can only be used for that purpose.

Unity on Park – which will be owned and operated by nonprofit Wellspring Housing – will be an inclusive facility with 42 apartment units for both adults with I/DD and adults who are not disabled.  For those adults with I/DD who are living independently at Unity on Park, Wellspring will also provide onsite staff for oversight and support 24/7.

Unity on Park is named for the partners helping bring this vision to life, including Wellspring Community, the Town of Castle Rock, Douglas County and the Douglas County Housing Partnership.

“We are so pleased and deeply honored to be working with Wellspring,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon. “This is the good work of the County, and we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with these agencies to make this vision a reality for the Wellspring STARS.”

Each year, the County distributes 93% of the Developmental Disabilities Mill Levy to support Developmental Pathways, the County’s Community-Centered Board while retaining the remaining 5.5% for a competitive grant program. (The remaining 1.5% covers Treasurer’s fees.) Developmental Pathways has returned $500,000, which is being reallocated to Wellspring for Unity on Park.

In 2022, the Board used American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to purchase the former La Quinta hotel in Castle Rock for Unity on Park, and in March 2023 transferred the building’s ownership to Wellspring. Renovations will soon be underway with residents moving in as soon as summer 2024.

Wellspring Community is a 501(c)3 nonprofit located in Castle Rock. Wellspring was founded to meet the needs of adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities—or STARS (because they are the stars of the Wellspring story). Today, over 100 STARS from 5 different counties participate in Wellspring’s day program, which focuses on supporting the STARS as they develop social, emotional, intellectual and job-related skills.

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