A Home for Champions

Champions Place is a first-of-its-kind shared living environment specifically designed for young adults with physical disabilities. The fourteen residents (plus two live-in occupational therapy students) are now into their third year of living independently, working at jobs in our area, and giving back to their local community. Champions Place also develops a relationship and hosts social and sports activities with a nonresident group of young adults with physical challenges, known as The Titans. Currently, The Champions Community Foundation, which oversees Champions Place and The Titans’ Community, is implementing Champions Place@home which allows assistive technology in these individuals’ private homes.

The Champions Place complex is divided into quads, each accommodating four individual suites. Each quad has a community room. This larger area houses a kitchen, where residents are responsible for shopping, preparing, and cleaning up their breakfast and lunch meals. There is a lounging space furnished with a sofa, chairs, small tables, a large-screen television, and a laundry closet. With this setup, residents can have private time or gather in smaller groups.

A spacious community room is in the main area with a full kitchen built with counters and sinks, which allow wheelchair access. A nightly meal is served. The residents gather around two oversized dining tables to unwind and talk about the day’s activities. The outdoor area includes porches, a fire pit, a grill, tables and chairs, a bocce ball court, and a raised garden. In these surroundings, The Titans join in streaming favorite shows on movie nights, karaoke, games, tailgate parties, cookouts, parties, and celebrations. Outside the complex, the group attends concerts, Braves games, restaurants, golf, church, and special interest activities.

Besides being a residence and a hub for this community to thrive, Champions Place has been a test bed for Google to develop assistive technology. Each resident has become self-reliant by being able to say, “Hey, Google . . .” followed by a command. They can turn on/off lights and operate the television, including changing channels and adjusting the volume. They can also open/close their blinds, make phone calls, listen to music and much more.

As a result of this special technology refined at Champions Place, the Champions Community Foundation has created Champions Place@home. Living away from home is not an option for everyone, but becoming empowered, engaged, and equipped is vital to staving off isolation and depression, which often happens when young adults with physical disabilities age out of school and reduced social contact. With Champions Place@home, this same portfolio of technology can be installed to relieve the responsibility of these aging parents and impact the self-esteem of their adult child.

Champions Place is blessed to have support from our local community. Groups and individuals help with meals, volunteer at the Titans’ Sports scrimmages, drive vans, and attend social events.  ChampionsCommunityFoundation.org 

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