Able Inc. teamed up with Sullivan Construction and Cerberus Security to tailor an apartment building to meet the needs of specific individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Able has several apartment complexes in the area but the Sullivan Project, which was completed in 2015, is unique.
Anderson approached Jim Sullivan, owner of Sullivan Construction, about a 4-plex apartment building he was constructing. She asked if he would mind working on the project together.
"He's like 'No. What do you have in mind?' So we told him what we needed, and I said, 'Can you stretch that 4-plex into a 6-plex?' she said. ""He goes, 'Well, I don't know; let's try!' He's like 'Why don't you get a design together of what you want? Here's an architect. Work with them on how to do this, and I'm OK with it."
Alicia Waller and Rachel Sorenson's shared apartment was designed so that they have their own separate bathrooms, which are connected to their bedrooms for privacy.
For Mitchell Hintz, who uses a wheelchair, the kitchen is wide enough for him to easily maneuver and the countertops low enough for him to reach.
"This is not an apartment you can find anywhere," Anderson said. "We designed it with him in mind."
Another noteworthy feature of his apartment-the bathtub.
"I went down with the owner's son - with Jim's son - and we picked up this tub cause we wanted this deep because you've got to have a seating support ... (otherwise), you're not very far in," Anderson said. "Therefore, it takes a lot to get him a comfortable bath, so that's why we had to get it as deep as we possibly could. Once we got that feature done, then we had to go back and talk to Jim about modifying the water heater cause the water heater's 50 gallon ... we need 80."
There are two holes at the bottom of the tub for the prongs of a machine with a swing that lowers Hintz onto the chair in the tub.
"It's a big bathtub. They put it in just for me," Hintz said. "They designed it to go with the lift. I love that bathtub. Sometimes I'm in there for two hours. It's like a hot tub."
At Able's request, Sullivan also made the garage wider and longer to accommodate Hintz's wheelchair.
After the building was constructed, Cerberus Security installed a few features to further help residents, many of which they invented to meet specific needs.
"We have a resident in a wheelchair with he has just a button like a car starter and if he hits that button it will activate the handicap buttons that open the doors, so he can get in his room that way and he can get in the building that way," said Adam Herring, security manager at Cerberus.
They've worked on multiple other projects for Able's various apartments, and some are in the works now.
"Another one that we're talking about but haven't done yet ... we have a person, she's very fast with her wheelchair, and she will leave the building," Anderson said. " ...We were talking to them about attaching something to her wheelchair that would slow her down if she hit a certain threshold. They're like 'Oh, yeah! We can create that.'"
With the assistance of multiple organizations, these modifications make the residents' apartments truly compatible to their needs.
"We were supporting people with intellectual disabilities (whose environments) were not as conducive to their growth and independence, and we were not able to really get people transitioned into better housing cause it just wasn't available in the general market," Anderson said. "We found multiple partners that helped us create these fabulous housing projects ... and because of that people's lives are just transformed. People are more independent. They're extremely happier."