LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Cory waited 10 years for this.
After living with his parents his entire life, his eagerness to go it alone led to Betty’s Village.
It’s the first housing project by Opportunity Village, a $35 million complex designed to give adults with special needs places of their own.
We met Cory in June, when he saw his new apartment for the first time.
“I have a welcome mat. It says, ‘It’s good to be home.’”
And Cory’s empty space is slowly becoming what he’s always wanted.
“It’s always good to be home,” he says.
Cory has his favorite chair, favorite video games and a bookcase with his favorite characters.
“I do like weird things,” he says, showing off his collection.
“I do miss seeing my mom and dad every once in a while. That’s why I call them.”
Luckily, mom’s not far away.
“It’s one thing doing chores at home,” his mother, Reigna Gerhart says. “It’s another when the whole apartment is yours.”
Betty’s Village is unique. The entire housing project is dedicated to adults with special needs. Most of the tenants, including Cory, have some sort of disability.
But staff say that’s no barrier to community.
“Full of life,” says Rhiannon Moccio of Opportunity Village. “This is more than I could have imagined.”
“We had one resident come in and couldn’t figure out how to put a coat rack together. He came in with all the pieces and was like, ‘Help! How do I do this?’”
It’s all part of the adjustment. And so far, it’s a fun adventure.
Tenants already go on nightly walks together around the village.
Adjusting to life on his own is an ongoing adventure for Cory.
“I’m starting to get used to the fact that they’re not here. Even though it still feels a little bit weird,” Cory says.
Opportunity Village says Betty’s Village is not quite full yet, but should be soon. It hopes to build more housing in the future.