Home for adults with special needs welcomes its newest resident - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Home for adults with special needs welcomes its newest resident

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - For the first time in 48 years, Barb Durst moved out of her dad's home Saturday into The Dwelling Place, a home for adults with special needs.

Durst seemed to be making herself at home, watching her favorite channel, Country Music Television, while her sisters and brothers-in-law did the heavy lifting.

But when it came to organizing, Durst took the reins from her sister, Kathi Hansen.

"Like any family, you assume people are going to grow up and move away from home and be more independent. And so that's true with Barb," Hansen said. "Even though she has Down syndrome, we still had those hopes and dreams for her."

Durst's housemate of four decades, her dad Joe Durst, helped carry his daughter into the next stage of her lift.

Though the move is bittersweet, Joe helped develop The Dwelling Place, owned by Bridges of Belonging and run by Catholic Charities. He is on Bridges of Belonging's board of directors.

"She'll do very well. She's very flexible and we've talked about this so, she's ready," Joe Durst said.

Barb Durst will have three new housemates and The Dwelling Place will have an aid on-hand, around-the-clock if Durst, or the other residents, need support. But, her new home is a way to be as self-sufficient as possible.

"Today is the culmination of hopes and dreams and plans," Hansen said.

Hopes and dreams for her family. For Barb Durst, it's a simple sentiment, "home sweet home."

Before Durst's first night in her new home, the family celebrated Joe Durst's 92nd birthday and watched the Packer game.

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