An Intentional Village for People with I/DD
St. Louis Center is settled into the rolling hills west of Chelsea, Michigan in Western Washtenaw County. St. Louis Center residents live in surroundings that provide privacy while encouraging social interaction. Each residence hall and cottage caters to the needs of the residents who live there, providing in-house services as well as access to the amenities of St. Louis Guanella Village.
All of the homes in St. Louis Guanella Village are situated with welcoming views of the verdant surroundings. Each home opens to a porch or gazebo with wide walkways to amenities including outdoor meeting places, a walking track, picnic area, gardens, and gazebo. St. Joseph’s Hall overlooks the scenic grounds, resplendent in seasonal color. Fr. Guanalla Hall and Our Lady of Providence feature a central hall that opens to a gazebo gathering space.
St. Louis Guanella Village delivers a community of amenities to its residents. The Welcome & Orientation Center, Chapel, and Gymnasium are part of the original structure, with adjacent Sports Fields, Walking Trails, Playground and Park, Snoezelen Therapy Room, and Residents’ Gardens.
St. Louis Center is a CARF accredited home and service provider to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. All of our homes are licensed through the State of Michigan.
St. Louis Center welcomes visits to the campus from those who are seeking a place to live for a loved one.
View the photo galleries below for a taste of St. Louis Center living. Contact us for a tour of St. Louis Center facilities if you are seeking a place to live for a loved one with I/DD.
St. Louis Center Community Amenities
Click on the tabs below to see some of St. Louis Center’s indoor and outdoor community areas designed to enhance opportunities for social interaction while enjoying the benefits of a rural environment.
- Welcome & Orientation Center
- Park & Picnic Area
- Walking Trails
- Sports Fields
- Snoezelen Therapy & Sensory Rooms
- Residential Gardens
Welcome & Orientation Center
The Family Welcome and Orientation Center was designed during St. Louis Center’s 50th anniversary year, and, in July 2011, became the first St. Louis Center Legacy Project to be opened. It gives St. Louis Center the space needed to greet new residents and their families and guardians and office space to meet the growing need for the agency’s services.
The light-filled entrance lobby connects the original main building and features a courtyard fountain and a suite of flags from many countries representing the impact of St. Louis Guanella’s vision.
The large modern conference room is used for meetings, training sessions, conferences, forums, and other events. The rooms are equipped with audio-visual capability for use in online meetings.
The faith-based component of St. Louis Center is felt throughout the agency, especially in the chapel that was added in 1970. Traditional stained glass windows adorn the wall behind the altar, filtering the beautiful morning sun from the east side of the grounds.
The chapel has become a favorite place for many members of the wider community as Catholic Masses are said daily by the residing Servants of Charity priests, including Sunday masses attended by those residents who desire to do so.
The gymnasium is a go-to hot spot and hub for group fitness activities! Residents drop in to participate in many different group activities and sports such as basketball, dancing, or just to observe and relax in the company of others.
With the stage and projection backdrop, gym doubles as a great all-season event space and multi-purpose venue for plays, presentations, or parties sponsored by friends of the Center.
Park & Picnic Area
This space addresses the needs of everyone, young and old. Shade structures provide natural gathering spaces that help residents avoid the harmful rays of the sun.
The full-size basketball court is popular, offering a great seasonal alternative to the gymnasium. A merry-go-round built in the 1970s is a longstanding reminder of St. Louis Center’s rich past.
Everything is framed by the frequently occupied track, used for walking, running, and biking, with plenty of tables and benches for taking a break and enjoying a summer afternoon.
St. Louis Center is fortunate to be able to offer its residents access to scenic walking paths in a rural setting. Situated next to St. Joseph Hall, these wide paths overlook all of the community grounds and are beautiful in every season.
It is common to catch a glimpse of wildlife, various species of birds, and a vista of verdant fields in summer with a panoply of color in autumn.
When the stroll is complete, sit a moment in the Tranquility Garden to contemplate the bounty that comprises St. Louis Center.
Inviting, well-manicured fields are an important part of St. Louis Center’s rural ambiance, with the objective of providing ample time for residents and visitors to savor the Center’s outdoor setting. Residents can join in a variety of activities, such as pickup kickball, football, basketball, or other informal team sports. Also great for special events, the fields have been transformed into a mini putt-putt course, water balloon competition, and organized fundraising runs. Using imagination, the sports field can be used for just about anything!
Whether as a participant, spectator, or just to relax, St. Louis Center sports fields provide residents with a great place to enjoy the natural surroundings outside in the company of friends.
Snoezelen Therapy and Sensory Rooms
St. Louis Center imported an idea from the Dutch called “Snoezelen” (sniff and doze), which provides sensory activities that are particularly effective for residents with Autism. This system creates a stimulating sensory environment utilizing color, light and sound that gives residents an opportunity to interact with their surroundings.
Homes in the Village were designed with the sensory needs of residents in mind, with a sensory room in each of the homes. They are easily accessible from the main living space of the house and offer many ways for the residents to meet their sensory needs.
St. Louis Center is the ideal setting for gardening, which is why the Tranquility Garden and Vegetable Garden came to be.
Residents who are interested in gardening may participate as a part of “Take Root”, St. Louis Center’s gardening program.
There are opportunities for community groups and individual volunteers to contribute a green thumb to the many gardens scattered around the Village. Contact us here if you are interested in a visit, or here if you are seeking a place to live for a loved one with I/DD. Let us know if you would like to know more about volunteer opportunities working with SLC gardens or other areas of the Center.
From the original halls built in the 1960’s as a school for boys with I/DD, to the state-of-the-art facilities completed in 2021, St. Louis Center is ready to meet the needs of residents into the twenty-first century. Homes include St. Joseph, Father Guanella, and Our Lady of Providence Halls, and six Village Cottages, including the D’Adamo and Neuman Homes completed in 2020. The latest additions to the Village are two independent living residences, the Single Family Home and the Family Duplex Home, with the freedom for the entire family to age in place, just opened in 2021 – see brochure here. View all of our St. Louis Center Residences in the photo gallery below.
St. Joseph Hall is situated in a serene, wooded setting that overlooks the entire grounds. This home is for adult men with intellectual and developmental disabilities over the age of 18. The primarily open-concept layout fosters independence and self-sufficiency.
The D'Adamo Home, named in honor of Jerry D'Adamo, long-time St. Louis Center supporter, started construction in 2019, completed in December 2020, and was opened as a home for six residents in 2021.
With construction beginning just before the pandemic, the Neuman Home was completed in late 2020 as a residence for four adults with I/DD. This home, along with the D'Adamo Home, meets all the latest state and federal housing requirements.
Fr. Guanella Hall for Assisted Living is the first of many homes in the St. Louis Guanella Village. It was renovated in 2014 to anticipate and answer the unique needs of the aging adult with I/DD. Here residents age with dignity and independence, yet always with the assistance or supervision that may be needed with the activities of daily life.
In 2002, the care facility run by the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence Sisters in Northville, MI, closed. Ten residents from that facility became the first occupants of Fr. Guanella Hall, Our Lady of Providence wing. Many of those residents still live here today.
Opened in 2021, St. Louis Center's Family Homes provide independent living options for families who desire to share life and faith in a community serving people with I/DD. Each home includes access to all campus amenities while enjoying a private home with open plan living areas, one car garage, and freedom to age in place. View brochure here.
K of C Hall is situated within the main administration building overlooking the pond and Tranquility Garden. This area was designed for residents who are most compromised in their ability to have safety and self-care skills. With an enclosed play area, and easy access to the gym, these residents are given regular opportunity to learn and reach their full potential.
The four Village Cottages are suitable for residents who need extra care but have some safety skills and are still able to be independent. Village Cottages have five single bedrooms, each with its own bath en suite. With large yards, these homes are a mini-community on the south side of St. Louis Center.
Comfort, convenience, and common space… St. Louis Center homes are designed to provide innovative and comprehensive services to people with disabilities in an integrated and thriving community. Each of the residences features common spaces for activities and socializing and handicap-accessible kitchen facilities and bathrooms, in keeping with the Center’s mission to promote the development of the whole person according to each one’s capabilities.
Schedule a Tour of St. Louis Center
Do you have a loved one interested in living at St. Louis Center?
We look forward to meeting you in person!
We welcome your interest in the St. Louis Center community and invite everyone with a loved one or client who may be considering residency at St. Louis Center to tour our campus and see our facilities first hand.
Please use the form to the right to let us know your preferred time frame for a tour.