It took only three days for Linda Jones to realize Breckenridge Village of Tyler was home.
The 46-year-old, formerly of Houston, became a resident of the community for adults with special needs almost 11 years ago and is pleased with her choice.
“I love it,” said Jones, who is close to her family, with her parents in Bullard and her brother in Dallas. “It is a wholesome environment for me. This is a place I can call home. I can just be myself and don’t have to worry about people thinking I’m different. It’s safe, it’s nurturing and the staff are wonderful.”
On Friday, a crowd of more than 300 people was on hand as the faith-based community broke ground on a $3 million campus expansion that will see the construction of three more homes to serve 24 additional residents.
The community currently has six homes and serves 59 clients, 40 of whom are residents and 19 of whom participate in a day program.
The adults range in age from 18 to their 60s, have mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities and are unable to care for themselves.
“The expansion means more families who have waited and waited and anticipated a place for their loved one will now have an opportunity to move in,” Linda Taylor, Breckenridge Village’s associate executive director of advancement, said prior to the celebratory groundbreaking ceremony.
She cited as an example a mother who found out she has terminal cancer and whose one desire is for Breckenridge Village to accept her daughter for admission before she dies. The community has been unable to admit the daughter because it is currently full.
Breckenridge Village answers the question for many parents who wonder if they died, what would happen to their intellectual and developmentally disabled adult child, Ms. Taylor said.
Kevin C. Dinnin, president and CEO of BCFS, the parent organization of Breckenridge Village, announced the new homes would be named in memory of Pierre de Wet and Dr. Paul Powell and in honor of Bill Pigott in recognition of their work for the village.
“Those men stood tall for those who needed someone to stand for them,” Dinnin, who is also Breckenridge Village board chairman, said.
Bob Ownby, BCFS board of trustees chairman, said it is abundantly clear that God’s divine plan for the land and facility for Breckenridge Village was ordained many years ago and it is a blessing to see God’s plan unfold.
Each new home will contain six resident bedrooms plus three bedrooms for staff, bathrooms, a common area of living room and dining room, a kitchen, a small classroom, a small exercise area and two utility rooms.
The three new brick homes will be located on a third cul-de-sac. The community already has six homes on two cul-de-sac streets that were built in 1998 along with a vocational center and administration building. A year later, Breckenridge Village built a chapel.
The construction project beginning now is the first expansion for homes, and officials hope to complete it in time for the facility to dedicate the new homes and simultaneously celebrate its 20th anniversary next spring.
Texas Baptist Men Builders, a group of retired builders from all over the state, will construct the new structure. They also constructed all of the existing buildings at the community.
Muriel Van Wave and her husband, Timothy, were among the guests on hand Friday to celebrate the coming growth.
The couple moved to Tyler from the Nashville, Tennessee, area two years ago in order to place their 27-year-old autistic son in the day program.
“We had researched the entire country looking for a real good place that was faith-based that would really care for him, that would have a dynamic environment and good staff,” Mrs. Wave said. “This is the best place. I think it’s an awesome answer to prayer. The staff is fantastic in everything they do.”
A CLOSER LOOK
Breckenridge Village sits on about a 74-acre tract on County Road 1145 donated by Robert and Jean Breckenridge, of Tyler. Their dream was to provide a home for their son, Jimmy, born with Down syndrome, and his friends. Although Robert Breckenridge developed Alzheimer’s and their only other son died while awaiting a transplant, Kevin C. Dinnin, president and CEO of BCFS, stepped in and helped the late Mrs. Breckenridge build her dream.
Donors including individuals, churches, corporations and others support the community.
The facility strives to meet each resident’s needs spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially in a closely supervised environment that is safe and loving, according to a news release.
Breckenridge Village serves disabled adults regardless of their religion and socio-economic background.