Lifetime Assistance traditionally has worked to guide people with developmental disabilities out of institutions and into group homes. The arrival of the Frances housing complex allows Lifetime Assistance to fulfill for those community members the opportunity to live independently.
“It’s a move of a philosophy, a mindset change,” said Ernie Haywood, vice president of residential and development for Lifetime Assistance. “We make sure people aren’t just put in a community, but that they’re part of the community.”
The 56 units at Frances Apartments have a mix of developmentally disabled residents, seniors and low- to moderate-income families. The “official” opening of the complex will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 12.
Built in the town of Sweden through a partnership of Lifetime Assistance and Rochester’s Cornerstone Group Inc., residents began moving in on June 30 and the village was completed in September. All units are filled.
“It’s really the first project in the area to be an inclusive home,” said Jamie Rada, coordinator of development for Lifetime Assistance. “It brings us one step closer to showing that people with developmental disabilities can function very well in our community.”
The six-acre living community, just off Route 31 and not far from Lowe’s and the Walmart Supercenter, cost $11.75 million, with more than $10 million coming from state funding. Construction was completed on budget and ahead of schedule, Haywood said.
“We had great support from the town of Sweden and the Brockport community at large,” Haywood said. “We got cooperation instead of opposition.”
The apartments are named to honor Brockport native Frances Barrier Williams (1855-1944), the first African-American graduate of SUNY College at Brockport. She was prominent in the development of the NAACP in 1912. Lifetime Assistance says the Frances Apartments serve as a tribute to her courage in promoting civil rights and inclusion.