Originally published Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 07:49p.m.

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The men of Washington Hills Family Home gather for a video shoot in front of their home. (Courtesy)

Through its men’s and women’s family style group homes, also known as Family Homes, Yavapai Exceptional Industries (YEI!) offers independence and support — and a sense of belonging.

Each home — Rusing Hills and Washington Hills — houses six residents and includes a community living area, a kitchen, and a dining room on the top floor.

The bottom floor includes guest rooms (for YEI! guys and gals who stay the weekend — also known as “Weekend Warriors”), and living space for the House Parents and house pets.

Terri Brahm, House Parent at Rusing Hills, said, “This is the greatest job I could ever ask for,” and Eric McLaws, House Parent at Washington Hills, said the Family Homes give their residents freedom and independence while still providing the space for close relationships and support.

“Our beautiful hilltop homes were made possible by Prescott Charities, fulfilling their mission of “Security, Shelter, and Charity,” said YEI! Executive Director Brad Newman. “The Prescott Charities Board has made possible all of YEI’s training, employment, and residential facilities over the last forty years.” Here are just some of the important facts about Rusing Hills and Washington Hills Family

Homes:

Each home has a House Parent, and there are structures in place for substitute House Parents to come in (for regular weekends off or other special occasions).

The House Parent transports the residents to work at YEI! and back home again, and coordinates meals and activities (like social events, arts and crafts, shopping, errands, and appointments).

All the residents pitch in and help with household chores.

The Family Homes provide space for YEI! guys and girls to stay on weekends when their family members go out of town or have other obligations.

The Family Homes, McLaws said, “are a tremendous blessing to the [residents] and to the community.” They give residents an opportunity to learn and grow, he said. He added that many of the residents’ parents have expressed gratitude for the sense of comfort and security they feel knowing their sons have a comfortable, supportive home.

“They can do more than they realize, and [the Family Home] is a place for them to do those things,” in a family environment that brings comfort, promotes independence, and offers support.

YEI! is a charitable organization founded in 1974 to support adults with disabilities living in the Central Highlands by providing them with job training, employment, volunteer placements, and support services.

The “Developmental Employment” program at YEI! includes the award-winning “Community Contribution Corps” and has been continually accredited at the highest level of service by the National Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities since 1978.