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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Murchadha House starts local fundraising

- The group will build homes for individuals with exceptional needs -

Murchadha House’s President of its Board of Director Sandy Murphy, (left) and Director Rick Frias (right) present Nene O’Neil of A1 Chinese Restaurant with an appreciation plaque for hosting a June fundraiser.

by Sylene Argent

Recognizing there is a long wait time, as many as 25 years, to link individuals with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities to specialized housing, a group of individuals began the Murchadha House, which is being designed to build homes for those with exceptional needs.

  Sandy Murphy, President, and Rick Frias, a Director, are two individuals of the five who sit on the Murchadha Board. Although they are still waiting to receive charity status for the organization, they have been busy connecting with the community to raise awareness about the need and raising funds to support their cause.  

  It is hoped, once the organization is given its charity status, that the Murchadha House will be able to provide non-profit housing to individuals with exceptional needs, who require support.

  Plans for the first home build, which will be located in Cottam, are already underway. Murchadha House will partner with Community Living Essex County (CLEC) on this inaugural project. CLEC, Murphy explained, will supply the home with support workers, who will aid in the day-to-day living of the future occupants. It is anticipated this first home will be dedicated to individuals in their youth.

  Youth with exceptional needs may require a home, Murphy and Frias noted, for a variety of reasons, including there may be difficulty in finding a foster home or the parents may not be able to handle the situation.

  The plan is to have the future youth occupants to remain in the house as they mature into adults, Murphy noted, which will allow them to stay in their home to which they became accustomed and avoid another transition.

  The home, with this partnership, will also house equipment that will positively impact the residents’ needs to ensure the maximum level of independence and that the best life can be lived, Murphy added. The homes will also allow its residents the opportunity to remain close to families and in their community.

  She hopes the shovel will break ground on this inaugural project in the spring of 2019. Already, many supporters and businesses are lined up to get involved.

  She suspects each home that Murchadha House is able to build will house two or three residents, who will get assistance from support workers.

  As a mother of a child with exceptional needs, Murphy saw the need to get involved with such an organization.

  “One day, he will want to move out,” Murphy said, adding she wanted to ensure housing was available for her son and other individuals in the community who need it. She hopes the efforts of those involved with Murchadha House will cut down on the waiting times.

Frias, a Department Head, who works with special needs students through the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, saw how getting involved in this organization would positively impact those who would benefit from the housing.

  Fundraisers for the Murchadha House are already underway. Nearing the end of June, the organization hosted a fundraiser at A1 Chinese Restaurant. Around $4000 was raised, including out-of-pocket donations. On Sunday, the duo presented an appreciation plaque to Nene O’Neil, who accepted it on behalf of the restaurant. On September 29, a trivia and dinner fundraiser will be held at the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201).

  “People have been very receptive,” Frias said of the fundraising efforts to date. “We are excited about this. It is something we are all passionate about.”

  Those who would like to donate or want to learn more about the project, can do so by logging onto or search Murchadha House on Facebook.


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