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Home Is Where the Heart Is

ROOF Partners with Community Homes and Hearts in Cape Coral

While visiting the new ROOF home in Cape Coral, Lee Board of Trustees and Executive Director, Sheryl Soukup, take a moment to celebrate. (From left to right) Debby Kays, Sheryl Soukup, Amy Levin, Bonnie Burgquist, Michael Thakkar, and Paul J. Saad.


One of the ways that ROOF assists adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities is by offering affordable and inclusive housing in a variety of areas throughout the state. With two new homes in Cape Coral, Florida, ROOF has begun a partnership with Community Homes and Hearts, a home care provider that assists adults with remaining safely in a home environment while receiving support with personal care and other daily tasks. The partnership with Community Homes and Hearts is helping ROOF to achieve its mission for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to have an independent living space and to feel at home while in a shared living environment.  

Most individuals accepted into a ROOF home require supportive personnel in order to live independently, so having the two organizations work together enables a complete support structure for the residents. The advantage of this living situation is that each resident feels secure and self-sufficient, all while receiving the support of a live-in caregiver, which empowers the resident to flourish mentally and physically. Living in a ROOF home is affordable, often less than half of market rate rentals, making it possible for the residents to live comfortably and have access to community services. Adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities often have limited options for housing, and so being able to live independently within a family-like atmosphere, provides the resident both security and freedom.

The home in Cape Coral is evidence of the unity of the work between ROOF and Community Homes and Hearts. Two new residents have already moved into one of ROOF’s Cape Coral homes and are enjoying their new found independence. Coming from their previous homes to this residential setting is a big change for both of the men, but each welcomes the change with an open heart.

The staff at Community Homes and Hearts will provide personalized services designed to meet the needs of every ROOF resident. Featuring a full-time, live-in caregiver, each resident has their own room and plenty of space to comfortably unwind after a day at work or training program. With nearby, local transportation, getting to and from work easily weaves into the schedule of each resident. Their live-in caregiver assists with the cooking and cleaning of the home, as well as planned trips, doctor visits, and community outings. Each resident is able to excel in an environment that is adaptable to their unique needs. This is what Community Homes and Hearts and ROOF are able to provide in collaboration.  

Paula Paquette, President of Community Homes and Hearts, describes the Cape Coral home as a warm, loving atmosphere for the residents to learn life skills and thrive. The glow of the Christmas tree lights glistening on the pine branches, to the smell of delicious cookies and treats, it is clear much time, love, and care had been invested into the space to build this home. What brought the two current residents to Cape Coral, Florida to live in a ROOF home and receive assistance from Community Homes and Hearts, was the fact that both of the residents came from a group-living facility.

Looking at the impact that the ROOF home, along with the care from Community Homes and Hearts will have on the current residents lives, affordability, quality, and awareness of in-home support have been made possible by the successful collaboration between ROOF and Community Homes and Hearts. The ROOF housing program has made living in a beautiful home affordable to residents with developmental disabilities.

The success of the ROOF housing program in conjunction with Community Homes and Hearts assistance has set the standard high for more residents to enjoy opportunities similar to this in the near future. The work that ROOF and Community Homes and Hearts, is doing is positively changing the lives of our residents and their loved ones, who are at peace this holiday season knowing their adult children are safe in their journey to independence. The new ROOF homes are truly a dream come true. Having a place to call home no longer has to be a wish-upon-a-star, but a place held dear in each resident’s heart.