New Avenues to Independence

Bratenahl’s New Avenues to Independence Receives a “Growing Gift”

By Jeanne Lyons

One very important philanthropic endeavor of the Bratenahl Community Foundation is New Avenues for Independence, a group home located at the east end of our village for adult women with developmental disabilities.  The Foundation makes a generous annual gift to the organizationin addition to offering volunteer hours to the home and its yard and garden.

Not long after I introduced Bratenahl Community Foundation’s former Board member Marla Murphy to the New Avenues to Independence home in Bratenahl, she spoke to Paula Jordan, the Group Home Manager and on the spur of the moment offered to do something novel and creative for the residents. After receiving permission from Heidi Lamb, Resource Development Coordinator, and speaking to the eight adult women with mental retardation who live at the home, Marla set to work creating a vegetable and flower garden in the back yard of the home’s property at13802 Lake Shore Blvd.

After a few weeks of digging, amending the soil, and roto-tilling a fresh garden plot this past spring, Marla enlisted the help of Ellen Berger and me, and we spent Saturday afternoon of Memorial Day week-end planting a vegetable garden with help (and a lot of laughs) from the ladies.  Marla had purchased seeds, flats and flowers based on requests from each resident, and the plots were quickly and neatly filled with carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and marigolds.

So few Villagers know of this unique and wonderful property in Bratenahl, and although time is precious to all of us, these special women have nothing but time on their hands and a diversion such as Marla’s garden is indeed a special treat.  Bratenahl’s New Avenues to Independence home is a joy to tour, and the ladies are so proud of their own decorated rooms, and expound on how they took special care to make each room unique with pictures and posters.  Each resident has a story to tell and a fabulous sense of humor.

New Avenues is a nonprofit human services organization headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities residing inNortheast Ohio. The organization was conceived in 1952 and our Bratenahl home is one of seven in the area, serving a total of 88 residents.

If you have some extra time and would like to volunteer in just about any capacity, or simply make a small monetary donation, your contribution would be certainly appreciated for such a worthwhile organization.  For further information, please call Paula Jordan in Bratenahl, and thank you Marla Murphy and the Bratenahl Community Foundation, for your ongoing support and munificent “growing gift.”

Paula Routson-Jordan QMRP/HSS

New Avenues to Independence

Bratenahl Group Home

Phone 216-541-1611

Fax 216-541-8011


View more about New Avenues HERE!!