Our Way celebrates opening of new Merrill facility
Our Way, Inc. recently celebrated the opening of a brand new facility in Merrill, which will provide housing and services to developmentally disabled adults in the community. This is the first facility to be built and owned by Our Way in the organization’s 36-year history.
The new Merrill home, located on Eugene Street, replaces the former Forward House on Third Street, which is owned by Lincoln County. The new facility was built as a duplex, with the other side named in memory of Ken Crass from Tomahawk, who served many years on the Our Way board of directors.
Each side of the home can house up to four full-time residents, or three full-time residents with space available for short-term respite care. The entire facility is handicapped accessible.
“This facility is very friendly to people who need devices,” said Our Way Program Coordinator Kerri Lokemoen.
There will be five staff members initially assigned to the new duplex, with a staff of seven per side when fully occupied, Lokemoen said. The residents from the old Forward House have already moved in and Lokemoen said she expects the Ken Crass side to be occupied by the end of May. The Forward House residents had been transitioning to the new building by visiting it regularly for meals and activities.
The new duplex now also houses the Our Way administrative offices for Merrill. Our Way purchased additional land adjacent to the building for potential future building.
Our Way, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of persons with developmental disabilities by providing individual services that support opportunity for independent community living.
Our Way has been providing community and residential support services to Lincoln County residents for over 30 years. Originating in Tomahawk in 1978, Our Way coordinated services in one program for three persons and had two employees. Today, Our Way employs 49 people, coordinates services in nine programs and assists 53 individuals who benefit from the vital community services that Our Way provides.
Our Supported Home Care Program offers support to individuals that live in an apartment setting or in their own home who are in need of assistance with personal care, meal planning and preparation, daily living skills, medication management, laundry and housekeeping.
In addition, 24-hour care and support services are offered to individuals who reside in Our Way’s adult family homes and CBRFs. Our Way has two homes in Tomahawk, Hiawatha Home and Our Way Group Home. In Merrill, Our Way operates Deer View and Pat Weber Memorial Home along with the new Forward House and Ken Crass Memorial Home. Respite services are available at several locations to anyone needing occasional short term care.
All of Our Way’s funding comes through individual service contracts, grants and private donations.