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  • Writer's pictureArt of Construction

AOC Show 326: Deep Dive Series Episode 1: The Trailhead Community & IDD Housing Solutions

Barbara Ziegler of the Trailhead Community joins us for episode 326 of Art of Construction!

“Please listen to the parents, and understand their passion will drive them to success. Believe us…You won’t just be helping us, and our kids, you will be solving an incredible social problem.”

If you hear any background noise or laughter - that’s because this podcast was recorded LIVE from the Nuts and Bolts Conference in Colorado Springs in November 2023!

Barbara Ziegler is the Board president of the Trailhead Community. Here's more about Trailhead Community that can also be found on their website:

Trailhead Community was originally inspired by the success of Stepping Stone Support Center, a sister company established in 2013. The Support Center provides prevocational and life skills training, job placement, job coaching services, social events and community connection. It now serves more than 100 individuals with developmental disabilities to live meaningful and productive lives. With this success in one aspect, it became quickly evident that another important piece was missing for adults with developmental disabilities: Homes of their own!

The individuals we work with are first and foremost ADULTS. Like all adults, they deserve to live independently in a place of their own. So in 2016, a group of parents, Stepping Stone staff and other friends all came together for the purpose of creating a non-profit to address this need. Stepping Stone Communities was born and the mission established: creating and designing an extraordinary opportunity for people to come together in an integrated and intentional apartment community!

After hundreds of hours of research and discussion, Stepping Stone Communities selected its first project- Trailhead Community, an apartment building with 77 units for both adults with DD and members of the general population with plenty of community space for meals and recreation. This was an ambitious project and it has grown since then!

The final result is an 83 unit complex where 50% of the units are allocated for adults with developmental disabilities and the other 50% for neuro-typical residents. The building will include state-of-the-art technology and “Universal Design” features to promote independence and safety for all residents. A cooperative management model will integrate all residents to make decisions about how their community will operate!

There will be on-site concierge staff to provide 24/7 oversite for the building, social events, meal preparation and encourage mutual exchange and support between tenants. The building will have many unique and intentional features to promote community including a sport court, sound-proof multimedia room for music, large screen viewing and mini jam sessions, an art studio, fitness room, a community kitchen and common dining room serving optional meals daily, and large common areas both indoors and outdoors!

Learn more about the Trailhead Community here:

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