Though developmental disability is the thread common to all the folks who live at Noah, the reality is that once a person arrives, the diagnosis quickly fades into the background. Freed from the label, some very interesting people come into view.
In 1979, a group of Catholic parents met to brainstorm areas of concern for their daughters and sons with disabilities. The secret dream of each of the parents was that a faith-based home for their children could become a reality. After much persistence and hard work, the parents, community and Sister Kathryn Jennings managed to incorporate a facility and enter into escrow on a property.
In 1982, with the help of Walter Fitch III, Noah Homes, Inc., purchased eight acres in Spring Valley and in 1983 opened Casa de Felicidad with six residents and four people on staff. Becoming a model of best-practices for supporting people with disabilities and their families, Noah Homes has added three more acres, seven more houses and many more residents. Through fundraising and private donations Noah Homes has remodeled, expanded, and become a successful environment promoting a place of refuge, safety, and acceptance exactly like Noah’s ark.
The history of Noah Homes has included celebrating graduations from school, cashing first paychecks and shopping for a formal dress or tux for the Harvest Ball. It has called for supporting those whose parents have died and seeking solace when one of “the folks” dies. It has included walking with several of our friends into the darkness of Alzheimer disease. There have been moments of exhilaration, as well as profound sadness. It is all part of life and the wonder of being human. It is all an expression of love.