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On November 12th, Yavapai Exceptional Industries (YEI!) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Starling Ranches at Eastridge hosted family homes in Prescott Valley.
According to YEI! Executive Director Brad Newman, each of the two 4,850 square-foot houses in Sterling Ranches at Eastridge will be home to six YEI! guys or gals and a host family.
“YEI has long boasted a unique approach to providing our YEI-hoos with their own place,” said Newman, referring to the 15-year-old Washington Hills and Rusing Hills hosted family homes in Prescott. “What our people long for and work for and toward is simply to live like other people.”
Just as the Prescott family homes are within walking distance of work for residents, those who live in the Sterling Ranches family homes will be able to walk to the YEI! Antelope Point at Eastridge facility. The two homes – one for men and one for women – are identical and are placed so they have what Newman called a “stunning view” of the Lynx Creek canyon and, in the distance, the Rafter 11 Ranch and its windmill.
The new Sterling Ranches family homes are named for the Sterling family, Newman said, who owned a Skull Valley property, housing women with disabilities. As the original residents aged out, the property became vacant. The Sterling family donated it to Prescott Charities (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit like YEI! and the organization that has developed all the YEI! facilities.) Proceeds from its sale have helped kickstart the Sterling Ranches family homes.
“We work hard, save up, and pay as we go, but we are going to need some help getting this project over the finish line,” Newman said.
As Newman looks forward to the upcoming project, he said, “A long list of suppliers and trades and materials that have been contributing to YEI! for 40 years are once again called to action.”
He said local tradespeople have always shown a deep affiliation and affection for the men and women of YEI, “because they see rightfully our people simply wanting to be working, earning their pay, and contributing to the household and community, just like working folks do.”
YEI! is a charitable organization founded in 1974 to support adults with disabilities living in the Central Highlands by providing them with job training, employment, volunteer placements, and support services. The “Developmental Employment” program at YEI! includes the award-winning “Community Contribution Corps” and has been continually accredited at the highest level of service by the National Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities since 1978.