'Osprey Village' community coming to Bluffton for special needs - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

'Osprey Village' community coming to Bluffton for special needs adults

BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) -

A Bluffton organization is getting ready to build a development with a very unique concept. Organizers say Osprey Village will be home for special needs adults and their families – and everyone will be welcomed.

The community is being called ‘a neighborhood with a purpose.’ The local nonprofit agency is looking to build a 38-acre development with dozens of homes on Bluffton Parkway. They want to give those with disabilities a special place they can call home.

“We have a son, or a daughter, or brother or sister who has a developmental disability like autism, or Down Syndrome, and the big question is, ‘What happens when we’re no longer here to care for them? Who’s going to be doing it,” explained David Green, Director of Development and Operations, Osprey Village, INC.

Osprey Village’s answer to that question is putting them in a community with people who genuinely care about them. About 25 or 30 percent of its residents will have disabilities.

“The rest would be their families and caregivers, retirees, and others who want to live there. Younger folks; maybe it’s teachers, nurses, firefighters, policemen; definitely those people who are in a caring profession who want to live in a neighborhood where they can make a difference in other’s lives,” Green said.

Beaufort County’s Director of Disabilities and Special Needs says he loves the idea, but he has one concern.

“People may perceive it as isolation, and not total integration,” said Bill Love, Beaufort County Disabilities and Special Needs.

Love says there’s often a stigma surrounding people with disabilities, and he fears others may attempt to further isolate them. He believes the only way to solve that problem is through education.

“People with disabilities are a vast group of people. There are no limitations. They’re very, very high functioning individuals. All of them want the exact same thing that you and I want. They want to be loved, cared for, and to be a part of a community where they’re accepted,” Love said.

The organization is hoping to begin construction on the property later this year, and have people move in by the end of 2017.

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