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'Finally home'

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | September 27, 2012 9:15 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - The waiting list for the Lynn Peterson House for low-income people with disabilities is four years.

Thanks to a $2 million project, those needing to live there won't have to wait that long.

A groundbreaking was held Tuesday on the 14-unit John O'Brien House.

"It's a place for people to finally call home," said Jeff Conroy, St. Vincent de Paul's executive director.

Contractors Northwest, Inc., was awarded the contract for the development on Homestead Avenue expected to be completed in July 2013.

The house was named in honor of John O'Brien, longtime St. Vincent's board member who died June 23, 2011.

Just like the 14-unit Lynn Peterson House named for the former director of the nonprofit, it will offer independent living for low-income people with disabilities.

The Peterson home opened in early 2010 and quickly had a lengthy waiting list and low turnover.

Applicants are often folks living with parents or others because they can't live on their own. The O'Brien House, like the Peterson, gives them a place where they can do that. An on-site case manager will look after residents.

The home will provide clean, respectable units for those who most need them, Conroy said.

St. Vincent's worked in partnership with the city of Coeur d'Alene, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association to secure funding for the project.

It's the third housing project undertaken by CNI for St. Vincent de Paul in the Coeur d'Alene area.