The James L. Maher Center, located on Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown, recently was notified that it has been awarded a $175,000 grant from the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust. “These funds will allow us to make significant upgrades and improvements to two of our group homes located on Carroll Avenue [Newport] and Green End Avenue [Middletown],” said Dennis DeMarinis, Jr., Capital Campaign Manager of the Maher Center.
DeMarinis said he expects work to begin in early 2012 to address such issues as kitchens that are not fully accessible and contain outdated appliances, driveways that need repaving, and porches that need repairing.
The Maher Center operates a total of 13 group homes in six towns—Newport, Middletown, Tiverton, Bristol, Warren, and Barrington. In addition, the Center provides an array of social services for “people with differing abilities, from early intervention for infants and toddlers, to support for people with disabilities who also experience the added complications of aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease,” according to DeMarinis.
The McBean Charitable Trust funds many local projects and programs as a result of its namesake’s connection to the Newport area; the late Alletta Morris McBean, a native New Yorker and philanthropist, once lived in Newport.
The Maher Center’s two group homes that will be the focus of the grant money do not need major overhauls, DeMarinis said, but rather many repairs that the Center has not been able to afford. A recent feasibility study conducted by the Center revealed the significant updates that the houses required.
“Adequate and secure housing does more than fill a basic need – it is the anchor in a world which is not always tolerant of people’s differences,” noted DeMarinis. “For people with disabilities, a safe and secure home provides the dignity and self-respect that is the cornerstone for social and economic success.” For more information, check the Maher Center.