Jeremy Gohr, 24, finished his lunch outside of his new home — the Apple House — Wednesday and walked to join his friends and several staff members of Horizons Specialty Services for a group photo and ribbon cutting.
“I really like it,” he said looking around his new yard. “It’s big and fancy.”
Gohr was one of about 25 residents and six Horizon’s clients that gathered to celebrate the opening of the new Horizon house in the 500 block of Rose Street with a lunch, open house and tour.
The 4,000 square foot Apple House is the newest addition to Horizons’ facilities in Craig, which include a group home on Breeze Street and another on West 13th Street.
The Apple House replaces Horizons’ older home in Craig at 1243 E. Victory Way as its third group home.
“It is a big deal to open up another house,” said Susan Mizen, Horizons executive director.
But, Mizen contends the Apple House isn’t just a new home for six Horizons clients, who have either developmental or physical disabilities.
Mizen said the home is safer, newer and a better-located residence with access to Craig’s downtown area and the Craig City Park, all of which will be of “great benefit” to its residents.
Horizons provides year-round, 24-hour care for disabled residents and helps them with budgetary, hygiene, medical, transportation and supervision needs, among others, Mizen said. It is currently celebrating its 35th anniversary of serving northwest Colorado.
Horizons serves five counties and about 80 people living in group and individual homes. The organization also has five group homes in Steamboat Springs.
The Apple House was previously an assisted living home that came on the market and caught Horizon’s eye, Mizen said.
“(The house) had so many opportunities for the people who lived here, and it was less expensive,” she said. “It was great both of those things came together for us because, obviously, we try to use our resources well and to be efficient.”
Michael Toothaker, Horizons Moffat County Adult Community Coordinator, said the organization decided to sell its old home in east Craig, which it occupied since 1983, and move in to the Apple House because the old building “needed a lot of care.”
“These houses get a lot of impact,” he said. “With five people basically living here, and you add a staff, and that is least seven to eight people at a time.”
The new house’s size also allowed two other Horizons clients to move in with the four clients from the old house, he said.
“The folks who live in this house can really take advantage of being more centrally located,” Toothaker said. “We have got two people who work in the community. They all are very in touch with the community. They know people in town and (some) grew up here.”
Horizons purchased the house for $270,000 using money from the sale of the old home, loans and funds they had on reserve. The six residents moved into the Apple House on Aug. 2.
“It looks like they have been living there much longer than that,” Mizen said. “Everyone has done a great job of making the house a home.”
Bill Mason, 50, has been living in Horizons’ care for 17 years, and said he liked the new home.
“It nice to be in a nice house,” he said. “They take care of us … and do a very good job for us. The ladies do just about everything.”