Good neighbors

A multi-home housing project under way in Glenville will allow young individuals with disabilities to move out of institutional settings and into neighborhood homes. Key Bank is financing the purchases.

Maxine George of Alternative Living Group said the agreement with Key Bank would help six people reside in neighborhoods that will allow them access to parks, libraries, restaurants and stores. One home will be located at 20 Oak Hill Drive and the other at 28 Bancher Ave.

The Alternative Living Group in Schenectady provides resident services, such as housing, to young people dealing with developmental disabilities.

Rogers said that these types of group homes are examples of how today's treatment of people with disabilities has evolved to make them feel less isolated from the rest of society.

Glenville was an ideal choice because we knew it would be an accepting community where these individuals can build a life where they feel they can integrate, said George.

Ron Racela of Key Bank said the bank has been supporting Alternative Living Group since the early 1990s. Racela, who is the community development lending manager, said the bank funds the homes and the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities pays back the loans.

"It's really a special program that gives opportunities to organizations that would otherwise not be able to move their programs in a forward direction," said Racela.

Racela said another unique aspect of the loan program is that information sessions were held so that the neighbors surrounding the homes would understand that the residents are monitored 24 hours a day. In addition, the fact that the project is approved for the Office of Developmental Retardation means that the homes will be well-kept and maintained at all times.

"Investing in the communities where we have our banks is important. We feel it is our responsibility," said Racela.""

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