WINDSOR, ONT. -- Family Respite Services announced Tuesday $750,000 has been raised toward building a new home for youth and children with disabilities in Windsor-Essex. 

The current house on Howard Avenue is “severely outdated” and has been used by Family Respite since 1997. With no government funding, the organization is reaching out to the community to help with its $1.5 million goal to build a new home right next door.

“A more flexible space, with better safety features, play space and accessible design is needed. As the only out of home respite program for children with disabilities living in Windsor, the need is critical,” a news release from Family Respite St.

The capital campaign “I’m In” was launched in September to help Family Respite reach its goal to build the new Solcz Family Foundation Respite House. The future home’s namesake has donated $300,000 as well as some art. A number of individuals and businesses have also committed to the project.

Family Respite’s program "Weekend with Friends" operates out of the home and helps families receive a short break while kids can have a fun weekend stay in a safe home with friends.

Valerie Hodgins is the mother of 17-year-old triplets, two of whom have complex needs. She says the house has been an integral part of their family’s life, and it was sorely missed during the early days of the pandemic.

“We didn’t have that time to recharge our batteries,” she said. “When they started reopening last month and they offered us we were able to get a day, two days, it gave us the time to just reconnect with our other child as well,” Hodgins said.

Family Respite Services works in partnership with 1,110 families who care for children with disabilities.

Family Respite officials hope to start building the new home by the end of August.