Villa de Vida Offers Hope, Housing for Disabled

Photo courtesy Villa de Vida
La Cañada Flintridge residents and Villa de Vida Chairman Dr. Edward “Ted” Merchant, with his family, Betsy, daughter Mollie and son Matt, are shown at a 2015 Villa de Vida fundraiser.

For Pasadena-based nonprofit Villa de Vida and families of those with developmental disorders, hope that springs eternal really can come true.
It began as a question posed by a group of concerned parents from La Cañada Flintridge: What would happen to their children with developmental disabilities when they reach adulthood? What would happen when they, the parents, are no longer able to care for them? The group residences the parents had seen, while few and hard to find, were restrictive, solitary or lonely places that just didn’t fit the happy homes they dreamed of for their children.
Now, over the course of some five years, that discussion has turned into the viable nonprofit organization that has secured exclusive negotiating rights to build a 54-unit residential project for adults with developmental disabilities.
It’s taken a combination of luck, perseverance and an unexplained generosity, say two of the group’s founders, Denise Longo and Dr. Edward “Ted” Merchant, who began the nonprofit over neighborhood coffee talks in La Cañada Flintridge.
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