Medina Creative Housing gives people with Medina Creative Housing gives people with disabilities services, opportunities February 1, 2016

Twenty-five years ago, parents in Medina County, OH, were looking for a brighter future for their children with disabilities. They wanted them to achieve as much independence as possible while remaining part of the broader community.

That’s when they formed Medina Creative Housing to create services and housing and employment opportunities traditionally closed to people with disabilities. Since then, MCH has developed nationally recognized housing and services. The Cleveland Foundation is working with MCH to scale its model and operations to serve additional individuals with disabilities throughout the greater Cleveland and Akron areas.

IFF is providing nearly $775,000 in financing for multiple projects, one of which is to consolidate its headquarters into one location, thereby increasing efficiencies. The two other loans will expand a doggie day care serving a vital community need and buy property in Middleburg Heights to develop and expand its supportive housing model.

MCH currently owns and manages 54 housing units with 400 people on its waiting list. Another arm of the organization, Medina Creative Accessibility, provides direct care supports, therapeutic horseback riding, life skills training, vocational training, supportive employment, and transportation opportunities for students and adults with disabilities.

MCH has 20 full-time and 95 part-time employees, about half of whom are individuals with disabilities learning life and employment skills — and a paycheck — while working at one of the five social enterprises owned by MCH.