Opportunity Enterprises Breaks Ground on New Respite Center

Opportunity Enterprises Breaks Ground on New Respite Center

Lt. Governor Crouch stands with numerous OE officials, local officials, and OE clients for the groundbreaking.

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch joined board members, clients, and leaders of Opportunity Enterprises (OE) for the groundbreaking of their Lakeside Respite Center, a new $6 million facility on property beside Lake Eliza in Porter County that sits near the border of Lake County. During the ceremony, officials announced that Berglund Construction will be serving as the contractor for the project.

OE provides a wide assortment of social and daily living services to individuals with disabilities and their families. The new facility is specifically intended to provide more options for caregivers to have a break.

“What we are experiencing today is the future for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The passion, commitment, and dedication of the individuals who care for this population have made a difference and have increased the opportunities these Hoosiers now have. Caring for the ones who care for them is the greatest gift that you can give. To be able to provide some respite for those individuals who have dedicated their entire lives to caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is a real gift,” said Lt. Governor Crouch.

OE board members break ground on the respite center.

“In this property, I see our future. And this future looks very bright indeed. These 158 acres will be transformed into an unparalleled experience for those that we serve. The important dream of creating a place where people could live, learn, and grow remains the driving force behind what we’re doing,” said Neil Samahon, president and CEO of OE. “Our respite center will be a place of laughter, peace, and certainly acceptance starting in the spring of 2023 and beyond. Imagine what else this beautiful setting can provide to so many. OE is focused on this vision every single day.”

“We plan to build a wonderful new facility right here that will fill a very important need in our community. This transformational building will house exceptional programming and bring delight for so many families in Northwest Indiana and beyond,” John Freyek, board chair of OE.

With the new Lakeside Respite Center, caregivers will be able to schedule time away from their loved one to take care of their own needs, have a rest, visit friends, or anything else.

Members celebrate the project’s fundraising milestone.

The new center will encompass about 18,000 square feet for activities on a 158-acre wooded property beside Lake Eliza. There will be 21 beds for overnight stays, and an array of important features like wheelchair lifts, security, 24-hour staffing, separate wings for adults and children, and of course full accessibility.

A large kitchen will sit at the center of the building and will be surrounded by multiple living rooms for relaxing and enjoying a movie or video game. There will also be a multi-sensory therapeutic room, which is a relaxing space where a person can experience soothing sensory stimuli.

The exterior of the property is also going to have a lot of great amenities for visitors, the most exciting of which will be a fully accessible treehouse. Work will be complete by Spring of 2023.


Front view rendering. Image from OE.

This is a concept image of what OE’s accessible treehouse may look like. Final concept and designer TBD. Image from Nelson Treehouse and Supply.

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