Our mission is to provide safe, affordable housing for individuals with physical or developmental challenges and to foster a healthy, happy home that not only promotes community involvement but also supports independent lifestyles. Residents are adults, citizens, and members of the community in addition to being physically or mentally challenged. Residents work either in the private sector or sheltered workshops, participate in day programs, volunteer in the area, or attend college. Physically healthy and functioning at a comparatively high level, these persons are ineligible for publicly funded assisted housing, however their limitations preclude their living without assistance and significantly limit their earning potential. Almost all cannot drive.
"Community" is a defining, unifying, and recurring theme for The Independence Village. HRA Inc. built the Village not only to provide shelter for this population but also to promote their participation as citizens. A new philosophy was implemented and became a part of The Independence Village life: residents began giving back to the community on a regular basis. Village residents became truly "citizens" and came to be recognized as such by the community. To that end, Village residents, staff, and volunteers attend local churches and functions, make presentations to schools and mental health providers, run concession stands at Chamber of Commerce events, bowl in a league, attend dances and sporting events, play challenged baseball, and volunteer at the library. Annually, residents and staff participate in such community service activities as the Cancer Walk, Muscular Dystrophy drive, Heart Walk, Little League carnival, fundraisers for underprivileged children, health fairs, and school supply drives. One resident has volunteered over 2000 hours at the Mainland Hospital.
Independence Village belongs to four Chambers of Commerce. Networking with other community entities is a key element in the success of the Village. Graduate students in the College of Education at the University of Houston-Clear Lake participate in a semester-long Special Education program with Village residents. An Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy student, recipient of the Robert Bing Scholarship at the University of Texas Medical Branch, chose the Village to conduct her five-month practicum. In its fourth year, UTMB's School of Nursing includes experience at the Village as a regular component of their curriculum. These students enrich the lives of our residents in many ways while enriching their own educational experience.
Years ago, when HRA Village was little more than a vision, its founders aspired to provide an exceptional quality of life for persons with physical and mental challenges. Today, in addition to having a superior home, Village residents embrace life beyond our doors. Our promotional activities that foster the highest possible quality of life and community involvement makes The Independence Village unique.
Today, HRA is known throughout the community as "The Independence Village."