WAXAHACHIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A one-of-a-kind community is now open in North Texas, offering independent living for the intellectually disabled.
Daymark Living is getting the word out in a show-stopping way.
“The million tulips?” asks John Poston with a laugh. “It was a big billboard that I needed for Daymark Living.”
Just call it the most beautiful ‘bait & switch’ this side of Holland.
The purpose behind the 60 acres, more beautiful than the blooms!
” I got frustrated with trying to find jobs for the residents,” says Daymark founder John Poston. “I thought this would be a business where they could go over and either volunteer or work and help me sell tulips.”
Poston isn’t really a flower farmer, but he became one because as a dad he didn’t like what the future held for his son, Michael, who is intellectually disabled.
“I wanted [for Michael], exactly what I want for my other kids. Happiness, health, friends.”
After six years of hard work, big dreams and lots of support, Daymark Living is now open in Waxahachie.
According to Poston, there are some 700,000 intellectually disabled Texans, yet this is the first such facility to offer safety, support and independence for the intellectually disabled.
“We have lots of wonderful things to do here,” says Molly Denny, Ph.D, Daymark’s Director of Community Life, proudly giving a tour. “This is our sports court, they can play volleyball and basketball. They love to do fun things outside. We have a movie theater and a game room. It really is resort style living.”
There’s also a pool surrounded by cottages and classrooms where residents work on life skills or take cooking and computer classes.
“It’s a simple model,” says Poston. “We live with our friends and family, and so do they: they integrate out into the community and they come back home to friends and family.”
“It’s really indescribable,” says Michael, “I love it. I had no idea I was going to love it so much.”
Daymark Living is private pay, so Poston wants to make it financially accessible to more potential residents. A portion of the proceeds from tulip sales will fund scholarships for residents.
So for once, visitors at the nearby gardens are encouraged to pick the tulips.
Poston hopes that the community will become a model for others throughout the country.
And if you want to model the gorgeous tulip display at your own home, bulbs will be made available for sale from now until June 1 with deliveries set for December.
Click here for more details.