Adult family homes open in Onalaska - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Adult family homes open in Onalaska

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ONALASKA, Wis. (WXOW) - A new adult family home opened Friday in Onalaska. Three units were built specifically for adults living with disabilities. The homes were funded by ORC, a La Crosse company that provides jobs for people with disabilities.

They built the homes to fill a need in the community and also to honor one man who had a passion to help the disabled.

Jim Holtan made it his mission to help the disabled. He founded ORC 50 years ago to do just that. His wife, Mary, said, "Everybody liked Jim."

Mary gets to see something Jim only dreamed of, it's called the Holtan House, three separate houses each with four bedrooms will house the people Jim wanted to help the most.

ORC Program Director Liam Bailey said, "It's designed from the ground up to be 100% accessible for people with disabilities."

With heated floors throughout and a walk-in shower, the house will feel more like a home.

Staff will take care of residents every need, drive them to work, and treat them like family.

It's not only a place they can live, its a place where they can have a life, and a place to honor a man who dedicated his life to helping those in need.

The homes were built in under a year. Onalaska Mayor Joe Chilsen was at Friday's grand opening ceremony.

He says homes like these are needed in the community and said he's open to more developments.

They hope to have residents in the Holtan House by the end of the Summer.

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