Arlington, VA

A new county facility recently opened to provide housing and care to low-income seniors with intellectual disabilities.

The Mary Marshall Assisted Living Residence first opened in November after $8.2 million in renovations. Officials held an open house this morning to show off the facility. Located at 2000 5th Street S. near Fort Myer, the residence boasts 52 apartments for adults 55 or older who meet low income criteria and who have a mental illness, or an intellectual or developmental disability.

The facility’s open house is coming at a time when Virginia is planning to close four of its five large state facilities for the mentally disabled, in favor of smaller, community-based residences (like Mary Marshall).

“We know smaller, community-based settings are the best places for people with intellectual disabilities and people with mental illness to receive the care they need,” said Mike King, president of Volunteers of America, a national faith-based nonprofit that’s helping Arlington County run the residence. “Mary Marshall is one of the first facilities of its kind in the United States, and we hope it will become a model of care for the growing number of seniors living with these kinds of disabilities.”

“Improved care has helped [intellectually disabled seniors] live longer, healthier lives than they could in the past,” noted Volunteers of America spokesman David Burch. “Today, as they’ve reached old age, these people now face their existing disabilities plus new issues, like limited mobility and vision, resulting from aging.”

Potential residents will be referred to Mary Marshall by the Arlington County Department of Human Services.

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