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Villa Esperanza Seeks Funds for Expansion

The Villa Esperanza home for developmentally disabled adults this week kicked off a campaign to raise $200,000 to complete a new kitchen and common room so its clients can eat and work together.

“The kitchen is so cramped here, and there’s no room for everyone to be together or work together,” said Young Lee, director of development for Villa Esperanza. “It will be good to train people all in one place, to do crafts or in cooking. We don’t know what abilities are locked inside them until we train them.”

At a luncheon Thursday at the rustic ranch in the Agoura hills, Villa Esperanza organizers urged about two dozen clergy members, community leaders and others to get the word out about the expansion.

The project already has received $320,000 in grants and donations from foundations and regular supporters of Villa Esperanza. Another $140,000 in grants is expected.

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The 3,000-square-foot building could also be used to entertain community groups, giving some of the 20 resident clients a chance to work as waiters and cooks, said John Eicher, the ranch’s director.

“That is the sort of thing that connects us to the community, and connects the community to us,” Eicher said. “And when the clients work, they get a paycheck. You can’t imagine how much pride and self-esteem that brings.”

To make a contribution, call (818) 889-0570.


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