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Construction begins on $9M housing development in Marshfield community

Jordan’s Place is designed for seniors and adults with disabilities

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While this month’s weather has challenged construction progress, a multimillion-dollar affordable housing project in Marshfield is underway.

A Jan. 4 groundbreaking kicked off work on Jordan’s Place, a 40-unit housing development for adults with disabilities and senior citizens that officials call a first-of-its-kind project in Webster County. Jackson-based RCH Development Inc. is general contractor for the roughly $9.7 million project designed by Columbia-based Wallace Architects LLC. Officials with a pair of Webster County-based nonprofits, WC Partners and WC CapeAbilities, have worked for the past couple years to make the development a reality.

WC Partners, a 501(c)(3) which rebranded in 2016 from the Webster County Senate Bill 40 Board, provides support for county residents with developmental disabilities and their families. That support includes case management services through a private contract with the Missouri Department of Mental Health with the goal of providing clients with the aid needed to live and work in the community. WC CapeAbilities, another 501(c)(3) organization, was organized by WC Partners in 2021 with the intent of working with the Missouri Housing Development Commission to increase the availability of accessible housing within the county.

Katrina Detherow, executive director for WC Partners, and Joyce Fenner, chair of WC CapeAbilities, were among those in attendance at the ceremony, which took place on a 6-acre area adjacent to a Mercy clinic near the intersection of Spur Drive and Highway OO.

“When we finally got to the groundbreaking, we were ecstatic,” Detherow said, adding the project idea began three years ago.

The facility’s name has special meaning for Fenner, as it pays tribute to her son, Jordan Estes-Fenner, who died by suicide in 2015. She said her son previously was hit by a drunk driver and sustained a traumatic brain injury, adding it prevented him from holding down a job and led to depression.

“Not being able to get housing, not being able to work, he just lost all hope and really got down on himself,” she said.

Addressing a need
Client service has grown substantially for WC Partners since it began case management in 2012, Detherow said. County school districts and Missouri First Steps, a state program that offers coordinated services and aid to young children with special needs, refer people to the nonprofit. In 2012, the client total was 75.

“We have grown to over 240 clients just in Webster County,” she said, adding the group expanded services to Douglas and Wright counties around a year ago.

Shortly after WC CapeAbilities was formed, Detherow said WC Partners conducted a housing needs survey with clients.

“The one thing I kept hearing about from our clients was the lack of affordable housing, safety accessible housing,” she said. “We were really struggling to have good housing for those that want to live independently and not live at home all the time.”

While Marshfield Seniors Apartments has 24 units in town, according to its website, Detherow said agencies such as the local senior center and the Marshfield office of Ozarks Area Community Action Corp. report a low inventory of senior housing in the community.

“We want to make sure that we have integration, that it’s not just one whole place for one type of individual,” she said. “That’s why we paired seniors with our individuals because they pair well together. Some of them have the same needs.”

Nearly all of the 40 units will have two bedrooms and one bathroom except for three apartments with a single bedroom but expanded handicap accessibility, such as a roll-in shower, according to officials. All have open floor plans and will meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The 865-square-foot units also will be fully furnished with a refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, dishwasher, and washer and dryer.

“If you didn’t have any assistance with rent, it’s $675,” she said of the monthly rate, adding there will be income requirements to qualify. “We always encourage people to go and apply for housing assistance through OACAC because that can help reduce it.”

Community service
Fenner said a roughly 1,700-square-foot community center also is part of the project.

“Inclusion is a huge piece here, as well as activities that will involve not just these residents but the community,” she said.

Aside from social gatherings, life skills classes are expected to be offered at the community center.

“It might be that one day of the week we offer a social time, and another time we might offer some cooking classes because there’s supposed to be a small kitchen in there,” Detherow said. “But we’ll see what the interest of the residents are.”

A separate but connected construction project is planned for the same 6-acre area, as WC Partners plans to build a new office building next to Jordan’s Place. Detherow said groundbreaking for the 5,086-square-foot facility should be held within the next month. The nonprofit currently leases office space in a shopping center on Spur Drive but is out of room, she said.

The new WC Partners building is being funded by a $1.4 million loan from USDA Rural Development that she said will need to be paid back within 10 years. Strafford-based Keltners Construction & Excavating LLC is the project’s general contractor, she said, adding work should wrap by October.

That’s just a couple months before officials say Jordan’s Place should be ready for occupation, weather pending.

“They should be able to start moving in as soon as construction’s done in December,” Detherow said.

For Fenner, the housing development will fill a community need and provide residents with independence. Jordan’s Place will open about a decade after her son’s death.

“I keep saying this place is about hope,” she said. “Just think how it makes you feel. How would you feel if you couldn’t have that?”

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