June 20th, 2019
Having first conceived of Luna Azul some six years ago, it is enormously gratifying to now be meeting the residents and families who are also claiming this community as their own, and who will soon become friends and neighbors to my daughter.
Indeed, building a community for Emma was my chief motivation -- not so much building a house.
As any of us with disabled loved ones know, their loneliness and isolation are ever-present issues. Our children’s social lives are structured around scheduled programming and events, doctors’ appointments and therapy sessions, leaving little opportunity for spontaneity and genuine human connection. Roommates are usually pre-determined, rarely of one’s own choosing. And, minimum wage caregivers come and go and come and go, always on their own schedules. Sadly, the simple delight of hanging out with friends who understand you is just not as easy as it should be.
For some the antidote to this loneliness is “inclusion.” For years, the argument for inclusion has driven the disability housing dialogue, so that group homes and apartments were always to be located in “normal” neighborhoods.
But, inclusion doesn’t always mean included. Residents in a group home of disabled adults in an otherwise “normal” neighborhood are often ostracized, with neighbors and residents alike unsure how to approach each other and engage with authenticity.
In such a setting, I always worried whether Emma would be invited to the neighborhood pool party. Indeed, the good intentions of inclusion generally leads those with disabilities to stand out and, therefore, be left out.
While I get that Luna Azul can’t be for everyone, it is proving a viable model for the alternative to inclusion -- that is: congregant living. Here, instead, residents will be among others with whom they needn’t struggle to fit in. I think it’s this intrinsic relaxing-of-one’s-guard that immediately appeals to the families who are choosing Luna Azul.
But, we also want a home for our children where we would be comfortable living ourselves. A place where we can come together for Sunday football or periodic social events and be perfectly at home. Be ourselves.
We also want to be confident in their safety and security. Anywhere else, I would worry about Emma’s safety walking in and around the neighborhood. Will she always be able to find her way back home? Will she open the door to anyone who knocks? Would she invite them in? But with Luna Azul’s gated entry and overnight staff, I’m far more reassured.
Ultimately, the creature comforts of Luna Azul provide comfort at a much deeper level for the families who will have loved ones here. And, be here they will! Starting in August, when our first families will be moving in and calling this neighborhood their own.
Emma and I can’t wait!
Luna Azul is America’s first for sale residential community for adults with disabilities. Located in North Phoenix, Arizona, Luna Azul is an intimate "pocket neighborhood" developed by Mark Roth of ECC Management, LLC.
This is not an offer to sell, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy, to residents of any state or province in which registration or other legal requirements have not ben fulfilled. Void where prohibited by law. All plans, amenities, availability, completion dates, prices, improvements and incentives are subject to change without notice. All measurements are approximate. Sales and Marketing by LaunchPAD Sales and Marketing Group/Launch Real Estate.
1500 E Wahalla Ln. Phoenix, AZ 85024