For now it’s merely a grassy, boggy bit of land off the beaten path at the end of A Street Northeast, accessible also by a trail behind Fred Meyer.
But for 12 young adults living with traumatic brain injuries, this bare plot will soon be the center of their world, the place they call home.
Last week supporters broke ground there on what will be Terry Home’s second sanctuary, 15 years after Mary Norman, family and supporters opened the first facility in Pacific to provide an alternative to a nursing home for her then-18-year-old son, Terry, and other young adults who had sustained traumatic brain injuries.
“It means we’ll be able to help 12 more young adults who have survived a traumatic brain injury, and four of those are going to be veterans,” said Myla Montgomery, president of Terry Home’s board of directors. “We’re just so excited we’re going to be able to help them.”
With a waiting list of 25 people, some of them on it for five years, Montgomery added, the board felt the time was right to start another home for TBI survivors.
“It’s so hard for families to try and take care of a person who has survived, or to try to do it on your own. It’s also hard to see your loved one in a geriatric nursing home when they’re so young,” Montgomery said.
In 1986, Mary Norman went looking for a home for her son, who had sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car accident on Green Valley Road that had left him in a coma for three months. He stayed in rehabilitation until the insurance money was exhausted. The only place for him at the time was a nursing home, but Norman just could not place her young son there. So she and her family and friends began 10 years of fundraising that ended with the opening of Terry Home in 1996.
Today, the nonprofit corporation at 138 Third Ave. SW. in Pacific continues its mission of promoting purpose, privacy and independence for each person in a comfortable, home-like setting. A total of nine adults live there, including Terry.
The total cost of building and furnishing Terry Home 2 will be about $1.2 million, and the nonprofit has all but $100,000. The board has submitted grant applications to various funding sources, including the State Department of Commerce Housing Trust Fund, King County and the Washington State Traumatic Brain Injury Council.
It will have to raise the rest, and it could use some help.
“We hope to start building next spring,” Mary Norman said. “The grants will just build the building. Then we will need the furnishings inside plus landscaping … It’s really a struggle between fundraising and grant writing, and it shouldn’t be that way. We’re saving the state a lot of money.”
The result will be a 5,300-square-foot, one-story, 12-bedroom home, with four bathrooms, built in an L shape, offering a common laundry room and a big common living room dining room, said Roger Tucker, principal architect with Seattle-based Environmental Works.
The board has contracted with a development consultant, Michael Pollowitz, to coordinate the project.
Terry Norman himself has a choice to make.
“I haven’t decided yet,” he said about staying in Pacific or coming to Auburn.
To learn more, call 253-833-0135 or visit www.terryhomeinc.org.
BENEFIT: Terry Home Building More Hope Dinner and Auction
• 5:30 p.m. Oct. 22, Emerald Downs, 2300 Emerald Downs Drive, Auburn. Proceeds to benefit the completion of Terry Home’s second facility at 727 A St. NE, Auburn. Terry Home Inc., a nonprofit organization, was established to provide long-term care and shelter for young adults (18-45) who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Tickets are $50 before Oct. 7, $60 after. For more information, call 253-288-0135 or visit www.terryhomeinc.org.