Ability Housing and AdventHealth Open New Wayne Densch Apartment Community Center in Central Florida

ORLANDO, FL – Representatives from Ability Housing, AdventHealth, the office of U.S. Representative Val Demings and the Orange County government today opened a new community center at the Wayne Densch Apartments.

The $750,000 project will add 2,500 square feet of flexible space to the community. When completed, the community center will provide the more than 100 community residents with dedicated spaces where they can fully focus on their physical, social and emotional health, with support from onsite staff and community partners.

“Our mission is to build strong communities where everyone has a place to call home. However, we all need more than secure and stable housing to achieve and maintain a high quality of life. That’s why this community center is so important. This space is about connecting – between residents, with our incredible network of nonprofit partners, and with the wider community,” said Shannon Nazworth, President and CEO of Ability Housing.

The building will include a multipurpose room, laundry facilities, three offices where residents can meet privately with case managers, offices for the property management team, a computer lab and a library. Free services are also provided by occupational therapy students and team members from AdventHealth University and its Hope Clinic, who train residents to perform the tasks necessary for independent living, assess homes for any risk and conduct group therapy sessions to improve communication and socialization skills.

This addition to the Wayne Densch Apartments is funded by various public and private partners, including $500,000 in federal funding secured by U.S. Representative Val Demings (FL-10) and $250,000 from the Orange County government through a credit from the US bailout.

“Everyone in our community should have access to safe housing and resources to get off the streets and get back on their feet, especially those working to overcome mental and physical illness and addiction. As a former social worker and law enforcement officer, I have seen firsthand how homeless services can transform lives and strengthen communities. The Wayne Densch Community Center project will extend this support. I am proud to have secured funding to help ensure our families, friends and neighbors receive the support they need,” said U.S. Representative Val Demings (FL-10).

“The Orange County government is thrilled to partner with AdventHealth, Ability Housing and the federal government to provide funding to expand the footprint of Wayne Densch Apartments with a new community center. The community center creates a positive atmosphere for residents to access enhanced services that benefit their health and well-being while connecting them to valuable resources and support,” said Mayor Jerry L. Orange County Demings.

Wayne Densch Center, Inc., which owned and operated the Wayne Densch Community as a transitional housing community for more than 18 years, donated the property to AdventHealth (formerly known as Florida Hospital) in 2016. In turn, AdventHealth has partnered with Ability Housing to operate and transform the property into 75 permanent housing units for individuals and families exiting or at risk of homelessness. Since its completion, the community has remained fully leased.

“Housing is a key social determinant of health. This new community center will expand AdventHealth’s ability to provide health care services to our neighbors in the Wayne Densch community in a way that meets residents where they are and helps support optimal health on their terms.” , said Michael Griffin, Senior Vice President of Advocacy. and public policy for AdventHealth and Chairman of the Board of Ability Housing.

Construction is expected to take about eight months. The project architect is Ebert Norman Brady (ENB).

About Ability Housing: Ability Housing is a leading not-for-profit, multi-family rental housing developer dedicated to creating high-quality, affordable housing. We invest in communities through properties that enhance their surrounding neighborhoods, improve each community’s quality of life, and connect residents to a network of volunteer support services. For more information, visit AbilityHousing.org, like the organization on Facebook (facebook.com/AbilityHousing) and follow on Twitter (@AbilityHousing).

About AdventHealth: AdventHealth’s Central Florida division includes 18 hospitals and emergency rooms in all six counties in the greater Orlando area and surrounding area. World-class hospitals, combined with a comprehensive ambulatory care network, account for over 3.4 million hospitalizations and over 5.7 million hospital admissions annually. AdventHealth also has an extensive research portfolio in Central Florida, with over 500 ongoing clinical trials and studies. The organization has a deep commitment to serving the community and has a local financial impact of over $1 billion annually. AdventHealth and its employees are responsible for nearly 20% of Central Florida’s economy. The division’s flagship campus – AdventHealth Orlando – offers nationally and internationally recognized programs and serves as a major tertiary and quaternary referral hospital for much of the Southeast, Caribbean and Latin America. Quality specialty care is provided by AdventHealth Institutes, which are nationally recognized in many specialties. AdventHealth Orlando has been recognized by US News & World Report, Newsweek, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Leapfrog Group. Learn more about the Central Florida division on ourWriting.

Jill E. Washington