Donegal Township couple aid disabled adults
By Linda Harkcom
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:51 p.m.
For 17 years, Henry and Kathie Hoffer of Donegal Township raised their beloved foster son, Michael Rumpf.
When they realized it would soon be time for Rumpf — who has intellectual developmental disabilities — to transition to a facility staffed with professionals more capable of meeting his daily needs, the couple began its search for such a place.
“We looked at all of the available options but did not see anything to suit his needs,” Kathie Hoffer said. “So we created one.”
The couple spent more than eight years developing the idea for a group home that would aid the daily lifestyle of not only Rumpf, but also others with similar special needs.
“It's so hard to start a facility like this. It's usually done by a corporation, not individuals,” Hoffer said.
That's because of the finances and time required to acquire certification by the state Office of Developmental Programs, she said.
“With all of the criteria you have to meet, you just don't see people do this,” Hoffer said. “We have no funding stream, no endowments, it's just Henry and I.”
So the Hoffers founded the nonprofit organization known as Acme Providers Inc.
“We chose the name Acme because it is our mailing address, as well as the fact that it means pinnacle and our service is the top of the line,” she said.
They also looked for the perfect home to suit the needs of their clients.
After two years of looking and praying, Hoffer said she had just about given up.
“I looked and looked and, one day, I said ‘Dear Lord, if you want us to do this you are going to have to send us a house.',” she said. “Not long after we found this house. It's just been a Godsend and, because it came to us by faith, we named it Faith House.”
The approximately 2,000 square-foot house, located on a quiet street in Jeannette, has been equipped to meet state and federal requirements.
It is only five minutes from Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children, where its residents attend a day program.
The couple saw their dream realized when they opened Faith House in 2010.
Rumpf, 32, was the first resident.
The young man who loves Nascar, the Pittsburgh Steelers and video games said he liked living with his foster parents but he also likes living in his new home with his friends.
The facility is at maximum capacity with a total of four residents, including Rumpf, another male and two female adults.
While they live at the facility, the residents can go home for visits with their family.
When a bed will be open for a day or more, the facility offers respite service to families still caring for their adult child at home.
The adult residents lead very active lives, said Patrice Krug, the facility's direct care staff official.
They go to church, dances, birthday parties, the park, roller skating and bowling and they also make arts and crafts, Krug said.
Hoffer said that, although they no longer live at home, all of the residents have strong support from their families and guardians.
“Family involvement is critical. We work hand-in-hand with the families to make the transition to living here. Without them, this house could not work as well as it does,” Hoffer said.
One of those parents is Lisa Liston of Greensburg.
Liston's daughter Sarah Vinck, 25, is a resident at Faith House.
“It has certainly given us peace of mind. Sarah will need someone to care for her for her whole life, and we certainly won't be around her whole life, so it has given us peace to know Faith House is there,” Liston said.
Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum prepares to unveil paperweights
- Mt. Pleasant solicitor Tucker Arensberg P.C., wins award
- Mt. Pleasant girl overcomes effects of brain surgery
- Pharmacy man has a plan in Mt. Pleasant
- Mt. Pleasant sophomore Pimental continues excelling in stage’s spotlight
- Power outage affects 400 in Mt. Pleasant area
- Mt. Pleasant girl overcomes effects of brain surgery