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Apartment complex will open to serve needs of the mentally ill



Published: Fri, September 8, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The new facility is named after a Warren man who took his life.

BY AMANDA GARRETT

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A new apartment complex that provides housing for homeless people recovering from mental illness will have its grand opening at 1:30 p.m. today.

Joey's Landing will provide safe, decent, affordable housing and supportive services to people who desperately need help, said Nicola Ceglia, executive director of Trumbull LifeLines, which is sponsoring the complex.

"A permanent supportive housing project like Joey's Landing saves the community money when services such as medication management, employment assistance, case management and transportation are provided so that people with severe mental illness may remain in their own homes," he said.

Joey's Landing is at 4861 Enterprise Drive near the former Ames shopping plaza off Parkman Road.

The complex was named in memory of Trumbull County resident Joseph Marando, who took his own life after suffering with schizophrenia for many years.

"We were trying to come up with a name for the complex right after Joey died, and a staff member suggested that we name it after him," he said. "These apartments would have been perfect for Joey if he were alive."

Marando's family will be at the dedication ceremony, Ceglia said.

The eight single-residence apartments will provide a bedroom, living area and kitchen, where residents can live independently while getting back on their feet, Ceglia said.

"Housing is one of the significant keys to stability," he said. "If people can find affordable housing, they can begin looking for a job."

Residents will have a support staff to help them find jobs and to make sure their needs are met.

Placing residents

Joey's Landing doesn't yet have any residents, but Trumbull LifeLines will be working with Coleman Professional Services and other agencies to place people within the complex.

The $400,000 facility was financed through federal, state and community grants, said Tammy Weaver, Trumbull County director of Coleman Professional Services.

The grants include: a $70,625 community development grant from Warren, a $211,875 grant from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and a $74,740 grant from Trumbull LifeLines.

Also, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided a $589,926 grant to cover the cost of rent for residents.

Any leftover money will be used to buy a van to take residents back and forth to jobs or job interviews, Ceglia said.

Long time coming

The idea for Joey's Landing began five years ago, but construction on the project only began this summer.

It took project coordinators a long time to find a construction company willing to take on the project for $400,000, Ceglia said.

"A lot of things changed after we received our grants," he said. "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina raised the price of construction considerably."

For more information on Joey's Landing, contact Trumbull LifeLines at (330) 675-2765.

agarrett@vindy.com




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