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New Dunn Facility Is A Home, Not A Business

September 1, 2006

By W. James Edminson

Vickie and the other residents of Harmony Home in Dunn are proud of where they live. The newest of Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) residential facilities for developmentally disabled adults opened its doors in December 2005.

Today, five developmentally disabled adults are enjoying the security they need. Family members feel confident that their loved one’s needs are being met. And the ladies are thriving as they grow in the structured environment that fosters the independence each resident desires for herself.

Vickie smiles as she talks about her life at Harmony Home. “I like it here because I have good friends,” she says. “I like talking with people. It’s one of my favorite things.”

As she and a group of residents play a game, they talk and make plans for a trip to see a movie. Residents can often be seen in the community together.

Each resident has chores. They keep their rooms orderly and take care of many of their own personal needs. “I like keeping my room looking nice,” Vickie says.

Their bedrooms reflect their personalities –– favorite stuffed animals, music cds, arts and crafts materials. Framed pictures of family members and friends are placed on chests of drawers and night stands.

“Our families trust is not misplaced,” DDM director Jane McMillan says. “We are dedicated to our residents’ quality of life. They deserve the best!”

BCH’s Developmental Disabilities Ministry provides adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to achieve goals, realize dreams, and enhance their roles in the community. Each resident is encouraged to reach her highest level of independence.

The program is designed to provide opportunities for spiritual enrichment, nutritional meal preparation, transportation, assistance with and teaching of daily living skills, and planned social and recreational activities.

Harmony Home is a reality because of local churches and a community that loves developmentally disabled adults, the commitment of Harnett County’s Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) and the passions of BCH president Michael C. Blackwell and BCH Trustee Abe Elmore.

Elmore, with the support of Blackwell and BCH’s Board of Trustees, helped secure the major portion of the funds needed to build the home. Together, BCH and ARC operate the 3500 square-foot Harmony Home.

ARC of Harnett County owns and sponsors the group home. BCH operates the facility, providing residential care and staffing.

“Everyone has been wonderful,” McMillan says. “Harmony Home is all about this community, and our neighbors have received us warmly. It has been such a positive thing.”

McMillan is determined not to let the Dunn community down. She says the families and residents the home serves, and the community at large, can expect the same high quality that has become synonymous with Baptist Children’s Homes. “We want to be the provider of choice. And families need to have a choice they can trust,” McMillan says.