A New Leaf, a nonprofit that helps people with developmental disabilities, received $1 million Friday from the Hardesty Family Foundation for an affordable community it’s building.
A New Leaf is building The Village in Owasso, where clients can progress from living with their parents to living in single-family houses in the affordable neighborhood.
"Eventually, the goal is to graduate them off into the community, into their own home. And they will still have wraparound services that check on them, but that’s very needed," said Hardesty Family Foundation Executive Director Michelle Hardesty.
"It’s very important for us, because we just want to be like everybody else because we have a kind heart, compassion, and we love people, and we love animals," said A New Leaf client Katy Lew.
The Village will also let A New Leaf reach more clients with vocational services. The organization estimates its reach will grow from 325 clients to 525. The developoment is within commuting distance of around 1,000 employers.
"That really gives many opportunities for our clients to work in a company close by. People with disabilities have an 85 percent unemployment rate," said A New Leaf CEO Mary Ogle.
The Hardesty Foundation donation will go toward the Hardesty Family Administration and Education Center, which will be The Village’s central hub.