Angela, on the right, with her coworkers at the Christmas Program.
10 years ago, St Louis Center had a vision—create an integrated neighborhood, where folks with disabilities and those who do not could live together and support one another. The planning for St. Louis Guanella Village began.
The initial phase included 2 small group homes, one single-family home, and 2 duplexes that would be open for community rental. Following completion, the search for renters began. Michael and Angela Holik, along with their 10-year-old son, Jacob, were the first to rent the single-family home.
“Our home had been burned down, and I was traumatized.”, stated Angela. “We needed to quickly find a safe environment. All of a sudden, not only did we find a nice home, but also we were adopted into the St. Louis Center family. We felt so taken care of. We had nothing, but St. Louis Center made sure we felt like part of a community.
Our son has special needs, and he fit right in and was accepted and loved by the staff and residents. We had real neighbors that we knew, and our son was never made to feel excluded, as sometimes happens in other neighborhoods. Jacob was safe to run around the neighborhood, I never had to worry about him. There are parties all the time at St. Louis Center, and we were invited to those.
I loved the place so much that I took a job there as a Direct Care Worker. We were given a safe place to heal from our trauma.”
We are so proud of what St. Louis Center has been able to accomplish in Fr. Guanella Village. Folks with and without disabilities are able to live together, share experiences, and develop a close, cohesive neighborhood reminiscent of neighborhoods in years past.
This post is on page 10 of St. Louis Center’s 2022 Annual Report.
If this article or any of the stories of inspiration shared in St. Louis Center’s Annual Report move you, please consider a donation of any amount in support of the Center’s Benevolent Care fund.
St. Louis Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Federal Tax ID: 38-6038121.
77% of donations received go to the care of the Center’s residents.
According to the 2022 audit, St. Louis Center administrative and overhead expenses were only 23%, in line with well-managed nonprofit best practices. You can be confident that your donation to the Center is going to good use.