SARASOTA COUNTY (WFLA) – The Haven’s 32-acre campus is tucked away in northern Sarasota County, nearby Nathan Benderson Park and the University Town Center. The nonprofit has been around for just over 66 years, now serving more than 700 people a day.

The Haven offers programs and services for adults and children with disabilities to ‘enhance quality of life by encouraging independence, championing inclusion and advocating for their individual rights’.

One of the nonprofit’s most popular programs is its residential program. It currently serves 49 full-time residents in six group homes on campus.

President and CEO Brad Jones says there’s a big need in the region.

“We have about 155 people on the waiting list to get into that program. It is definitely needed and it is definitely in demand,” said Jones. “We are lucky enough to have been able to raise some substantial donations to build two more group homes that are prepared to break ground in October,” said the CEO.

One of the group homes, ‘Brad’s Place’, will be specifically for senior residents. It’s something the nonprofit has been working on for years.

“We have some residents that have lived here over 60 years,” said Jones. ‘They have been here their whole lives and now we are entering some new challenges where they are aging just like everyone else and have different needs.. especially Alzheimer’s and dementia,” he explained.

The new group home will be tailored specifically for them.

“They will be able to have something where they can age in place, have a program where they can continue activities of daily living and also receive the medical care that they need to thrive,” explained The Haven’s president.

As part of The Haven’s efforts to keep seniors on site, the nonprofit plans to partner with medical students and doctors from Florida State University to create a comprehensive dementia care plan.

“It is really like a safe haven and parents love that for their kids. They want to have something for them long after they are gone to be able to make sure that they can live independently and stay safe and healthy,” said Jones.

To learn more about The Haven, visit their website.