EASLEY – Like most parents of children with developmental delays, Nancy and Charlie Blakely were concerned that their daughter have the best options after they died.
That desire began taking physical form last week, when an organization the couple began broke ground on a residence for eight people with developmental delays. It is called InDwellings ad is located on donated property adjacent to Foothills Presbyterian Community south of Easley.
As the Blakelys daughter grew and as they looked for options for her care after they passed on, they weren’t finding options they liked.
When their daughter died, the desire for a better residents for people like her continued.
The two Presbyterian ministers were not finding anything that met their desires. “Many were isolated,” said the father, Charlie Blakely. “We hoped there could be a community – a spiritual community – for them.”
Funding proved to be a complication for many, so there was a desire to find a way to make the futures of such people more secure financially.
The dream began and grew.
The Blakelys and others formed an organization, Indwellings, with a 501C3 non-profit status to help create more of what they are looking for. They studied other similar residences in North Carolina. At one point, the United Methodist Church in Western North Carolina established a priority for regions to build and foster such residences in their communities. Churches there maintain contact with the residents and offer programs for them.
“They had a Bishop who just said, ‘You are going to do this,’ and they did,” said Charlie Blakely. “More than 20 such residences now exist.
Eight years after formation a group of nine board members, InDwellings has hired an executive director, Paula Carnahan, and turned soil on the first of what they will be many residences throughout the Upstate.
Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell and SC Sen. Larry Martin were on hand Thursday for the groundbreaking, welcoming the organization to the area. “It is a needed thing for very special part of the community,” Martin said.
“Easley a place of people loving people will do all it can to meet the needs of the residents,” Bagwell said.
Next step will be fund raising, including an evening of music, antique cars, food and a auction to raise money for the effort. “We hope it will become an annual event,” Charlie Blakely said.
Local television personality Michael Cogdill will serve as emcee for the event Nov. 7 , 6:30 p.m. To 10 p.m. at Thornblade in Greenville. Cogdill’s wife, Jill, serves on the InDwellings board of directors.
Organizers hope to have the facility operating by early next summer.
For more information call 864-283-6080 and go to www.indwellings.org.