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LIFE Center to get new home

Among the new construction on the horizon in Farmington is a new $600,000 center for the LIFE Center for Independent Living.

The non-profit Center for Independent Living is located in Farmington next to Commerce Bank. The center’s mission is to help those with disabilities sustain or regain independence. They serve citizens in St. Francois, Madison and Ste. Genevieve counties.

Among services they can offer are wheelchair ramps for homes, equipment loans for such things as walkers and wheelchairs, assistive technology such as telephones that print words out, transportation, advocacy, peer support, information and referral and independent living skills training.

Most services are free and individuals are encouraged to call or stop by to find out more. Appointments can be made by calling 756-4314 or 800-596-7273.

They are funded through a grant from Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation, as well as through private and corporate donations and foundations.

The new center will have 5,000 square feet and will be located between the China Buffet and Dr. Douglas K. Ross’ dental office on Karsch Blvd.

Tim Azinger, the director of the agency, says they have put the project out for bids and plan to open them April 12.

He had only praise for the current landlord, but said the center has become &#8220 kind of crowded.”

The additional space will allow them to provide more confidentiality to clients, as well as allow better coordination and storing of equipment that is loaned to those in need.

Azinger said they did have to pass on a grant not long ago because they did not have enough space to fulfill its requirements. With more space, there is a chance they could expand on the assistive technology available at the center.

Construction of the new center is being financed by a $300,000 community development block grant through the Department of Economic Development. The rest will be matched by the center.

The LIFE Center was begun in April 14, 1997 with a small grant from Vocational Rehabilitation. That means the new center will be complete just in time for the center’s 10th anniversary.

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