A Message From DHN Executive Director Jacalyn Slemmer
Spotlight on a Housing Corporation
A Brief History of the Pediatric Development Center, Inc.
The Pediatric Development Center Board was founded in 1975 by Harry Wain, M.D. The initial goal of PDC, Inc. was to create a residential treatment center for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Dr. Wain was inspired to pursue this goal by the work of Mrs. Hattie Larlham, R.N., especially her development of the Hattie Larlham Foundation in the northeast Ohio area. Dr. Wain saw the potential for developing a similar facility to serve Richland and the surrounding central Ohio counties. His efforts resulted in the development of a residential care facility modeled on the Hattie Larlham Foundation in Mansfield, originally known as the Pediatric Development Center, and long since renamed The Raintree.
Under Dr. Wain’s guidance the board secured a nine acre plot of land from the Justine Sterkle Trust and received partial funding for the construction of the facility from the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (ODMR/DD). By late 1980 the construction of the building was completed and the board commenced a search for staff and residents.
The board continued striving towards the opening of the PDC under Dr. Wain’s direction during his illness and eventual death in June of 1981. It was during this period that the PDC board approached the Richland County Board of DD to see if RCBDD would operate the Raintree. After negotiations RCBDD agreed to manage the facility, which it leased from PDC, Inc. The Pediatric Development Center (by then known as the Raintree) admitted its first residents in December of 1981.
In the 1990’s new opportunities for residential development were brought for PDC’s consideration. When the Community Capital Housing Assistance program started in 1992 PDC was a logical match to become the housing development corporation for Richland County. In 1993 PDC commenced its CCHA collaboration with RNC and bought its first community home, a duplex on Paxford Place. In 1994 when an aging ICF/IID group home faced extensive renovation needs PDC purchased and leased to Newhope a replacement facility, making this home PDC’s second ICF/MR facility. This collaboration continued allowing RCBDD to move ICF beds from larger facilities into four smaller homes constructed by PDC. Meanwhile, continuing to utilize CCHA dollars combined with bank loans and PDC’s own assets, PDC has purchased 17 homes to renovate and rent to people with disabilities, the latest being purchased in summer of 2015.
About Disability Housing Network
The Disability Housing Network was created because many people realized the importance of quality housing and that there was little to no attention being given to the development, management, and supervision of this area of supported living services in Ohio. Today, DHN is a member driven organization with a mission focused on providing much needed support and assistance to County Boards of DD and Housing Boards that manage and operate homes for individuals with disabilities in Ohio.
By leveraging the experience and intellect of our members, we have developed “best practice” resources that can be utilized by all member counties while creating a collective voice for advocacy. We strongly believe that if we work together we can strengthen and improve disability housing standards and practices in Ohio. Continue reading
Over the past year, DHN has had many successes. Not only have we had insightful and well-attended statewide conferences, we have completed our first year of a grant received from the DD Council for a capacity building project with Housing Corporations across the state, focusing on governance policies, housing policies, and local housing planning. Continue reading