One Maryland woman is hoping to help those who spend their lives caring for loved ones with disabilities.
Andrea Faris Roberts, the founder and executive director of A Mother’s Rest, hopes to purchase the historic Atlee House, 120 Water St. in New Windsor, to run an inn or bed and breakfast that acts as a respite for those who provide care for people who have special needs, physical or intellectual disabilities and more.
Roberts, of Urbana, has a son with Down syndrome. She said A Mother’s Rest is a nonprofit that was created in February 2017. But prior to its creation, she said she ran a nonprofit called Reece’s Rainbow, which helped families adopt children with special needs internationally.
In 2017, she retired from that to focus on the proactive health of caregivers of children and adults who have disabilities.
“When we’re burned out, then there’s nobody left to take care of our kids,” Roberts said.
Over the last year and a half, she said her organization has been working to create respite opportunities for parents. They’ve worked to build partnerships with existing inns all over the country to do short retreats — for three nights or so — that come at a reduced rate, or are sometimes even free.
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These trips are a chance for caregivers to do the most basic things they need — like relax, sleep and shower — “all those things you can’t do at home,” she added.
The retreats are also a chance for caregivers to bond with other caregivers in their situation, Roberts said. Creating the nonprofit and beginning the partnerships was phase one for A Mother’s Rest.
Now, comes phase two.
Roberts said the goal is the purchase the former New Windsor inn and run it solely as a respite bed and breakfast.
When Roberts’ place gets up and running, he said, The Arc have families who may be interested. And, he said, they have a workforce that is always looking for opportunities.
“It sounds like she might have some things going on that the inn that might be interesting for some of our folks,” Rowe said.
Roberts said A Mother’s Rest could have looked anywhere to set up its home base, but New Windsor, and this specific inn, is perfect. The inn would serve caregivers and offer jobs, things that will help bring opportunities and growth to New Windsor, she said.
“It’s a really great project for community development,” she added.
New Windsor Mayor Neal Roop wasn’t aware of the details of A Mother’s Rest’s interest, but said business in the facility would be a plus to the town and an economic boost.
Roop said New Windsor has seen an increase in economic development, especially with the addition of Springdale Preparatory School.
“It’s built a foundation for a new economic turnaround,” he said of the school that opened this past August.
At this point, Roberts said, fundraising is ongoing to try to bring in enough money to get the property. Anyone interested in helping can visit www.amothersrest.org/donate-invest or mail a check to P.O. Box 131, Monrovia, MD, 21770. Questions can be directed to Roberts via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of June 6, a total of $27,547 had been raised, according to the website. there is a $100,000 matching grant, which runs from until July 30.
The goal is to raise a total of $475,000 by Aug. 31, according to the site.