As Glennwood Housing Foundation works to find funds to renovate an assisted living home in Laguna Beach for special needs young adults, a gift arrived to help it along from none other than Sir Elton John.
The nonprofit foundation received a pledged donation of $25,000 from the Elton John Charitable Fund to help the organization meet its goal. This is Glennwood's first donation from outside Laguna Beach.
"We were very surprised and delighted by his generosity," said Shauna Bogert, executive director of Glennwood House of Laguna Beach, in an email. "We are hoping more donations come in as a result so that we can open this amazing program in the spring."
John became aware of the foundation through a contact who has a family member who hopes to become a resident.
"Elton was impressed with the good work that is taking place at Glennwood," said John's assistant, according to the release.
Glennwood serves young adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other special needs, helping them transition out of their parents' homes. Staff help residents develop skills toward independence, such as money management, housekeeping, self-care and grocery shopping. Staff members also help them find jobs.
"For many of these young men and women this will be the first opportunity to realize personal growth as an adult," Bogert said in a Sept. 9 letter to John.
The foundation is in the process to remodel a former seniors assisted living home at 2130 S. Coast Hwy. that has sat vacant for the past five years. Glennwood has construction approval, as well as a conditional use permit and a business license, from the city for phase 1 and has submitted its phase 2 plans.
The 30,000-square-foot, 42-room residential facility will be home — complete with kitchen, recreation and living areas — for up to 50 young adults when it is completed in spring 2013.
Glennwood is fundraising to cover the construction and repair costs, as well as operational expenses, like insurance, mortgage, salaries, permits and utilities. The foundation needs to raise $200,000 by the end of the year to be in a good place to move forward, Bogert said in an email.
Donations can be made at http://www.glennwoodhousing.org or mailed to Glennwood Housing Foundation, 101 Pacifica Ste. 255, Irvine, CA 92618.