The History of Teri's House

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The House, Mission and Message to Donors

Teri’s message for future donors is that no matter what they donate, it will go on forever - after they are all gone. – A perpetual gift.

The most important thing to Teri is to build her house, and to use it as a model. She wants to enlighten the public about this population of Down syndrome adults. Teri feels this plan should be carried out nation wide.

They can be viable citizens, and shouldn’t be limited in what we expect them to do. If we give them a challenge with the tools to meet that challenge - they are going to accomplish it. Instead of being looked at as a burden, they can be active, progressive and they have a right to be treated humanely and respectfully.

Practically speaking, Teri’s program has helped give these children get health care so now they are living longer. Now some are out living their parents. With all these financial cuts, and not opening new beds, what are we going to do with them? This is one of the primary reasons housing with a working program is so important.

With Teri’s disease of MS, which is very unpredictable, added to her age of 70, she feels that her boys would be doomed should anything happen to her. One of them, Damian would have to go to a medically fragile group home, and the rest of the boys would be split up. The whole goal is to keep the family together. After they pass, someone else would fill their beds.

This ADA compliant house is an 3500 sq foot house 6-bedroom house. The sixth room is an emergency bed so if a parent of a down syndrome person dies or gets sick, they could stay until their caretaker is well or replaced. Any regulation that the state would require is met including an elevator and a generator and can meet their needs until death. A large eat in kitchen with a full basement and no waited space. This model concept can be duplicated for future homes.

Currently, none of the families of Teri’s four children support the children in any way, nor are they obligated to do so. The boys have Medicare, Medicaid, and Teri’s on VA disability. That’s the only income. The annual budget is about $ 98,000 to keep the house running, not including food, electricity, and transportation.

The disabled are the first to be cut when there is a budget crisis. Recently, the state government cut any new beds and any new buildings, which is why Teri doesn’t have her new house. Currently, the governor wants to cut 10% across the board of direct care, which the children rely on.

Organizations that have helped over the years were the Rotaries in Staten Island, private individuals and companies, mom and pop operations and the organization called the World of Women. Teri has donated her own property for this venture and has the plans of the house hanging in her living room.

This house will always be for Down syndrome children, after Teri and the children are gone, they can be replaced with others can then live out their years in the home as a family unit. Teri will make herself available to discuss these needs and answer any questions for a prospective donor. She thanks you very much.