Jacqueline Kovick and Jeff, a resident of Noah's Ark of almost 6 years.
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -
Noah's Ark, a non profit organization that specializes in providing housing and services for developmentally disabled adults, is planting the seeds for expansion. Literally.
The organization currently owns three homes in a small enclave in central Lakeland where 13 adults live. The newest addition to the property is a vegetable garden that founders hope to turn into something much bigger.
"We have 56 acres of property that we're going to build a residential community, and part of that residential vision is to be sustainable," explained Noah's Ark co-founder Jack Kosik.
That sustainability includes plans for a full-fledged farm, but that's not all. Kosik says the 56 acres Noah's Ark owns will also include 23 acres of residential housing that can accommodate up to 200 adults with developmental disabilities.
"Our vision is to build... an actual community in North Lakeland," Kosik said.
Noah's Ark is pretty close to moving forward with its plans. "We have the master plan completed. We have our zoning, and we have 90 percent of the engineering completed. We're almost construction ready," Kosik said.
The next step is to apply for federal tax credit money which Kosik expects will cover most of the $15 million for the project. He anticipates Noah's Ark will eventually need about $3 million in community donations to make the dream a reality.