The ROSE-MARY CENTER, which began in 1922 as a home for crippled children, has provided residential evaluation and treatment for physically disabled children ages 3-12. Before 1922 Catholic disabled children were cared for at the Episcopal HOLY CROSS HOUSE. When a change in policy limited services to EPISCOPALIANS, CAESAR GRASSELLI offered his EUCLID 7-acre summer residence (at 19350 Euclid Ave.) to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, in memory of his wife, Johanna, an invalid for many years. The home, with a capacity of 24, was named for its first patron, a disabled orphan found in Youngstown shortly after birth. The Sisters of the Holy Humility of Mary staffed the home; the Catholic Daughters of America performed maintenance and raised funds; and Grasselli, who visited each week, provided equipment and furnishings. Rose-Mary Home pioneered modern treatment to correct physical disabilities of children with healthy minds. Through physical therapy, disabled children re-educated weak muscles and achieved as close to normal function as possible. The homelike setting included furnishings and utensils specially designed for the young residents. In 1943 the adjacent William Delaney house and property were acquired and used for staff sleeping quarters. A new building on the same site was completed in 1949 with CATHOLIC CHARITIES funds. The facility concentrated all activities under one roof and permitted care of up to 50 children.

In 1967 the home redefined its mission, beginning to evaluate, train, and house children with developmental disabilities.  It admitted children in the 30-50 IQ range, for a 14-to-18-month stay, to prepare them to enter other programs. In addition, Rose-Mary taught parents how to manage a developmentally disabled child. With 40 residents, the Rose-Mary Center was funded by Catholic Charities and UNITED WAY SERVICES in 1993.

See also CHILD CARE.

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