The Bethel Community Plan

There are approximately 70 residents currently living on the Emmaus Marthasville campus. This setting will be discontinued by 2020, and residents are in the process of transitioning to surrounding urban or suburban communities of their choice. However, some prefer to stay in their current rural campus setting among long-time friends and neighbors.


To retain a cohesive community setting as a viable choice, Advocates for Community Choice will be purchasing property in order to create and manage “Bethel Community” — an intentional, integrated community where people with disabilities will live alongside people without disabilities.

It is our hope to purchase and revitalize the community where the Emmaus campus is presently located. However, if we are not able to come to a purchase agreement, we will be creating an intentional community in another location in Warren County for this purpose.

Bethel Community will include residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) as well as others such as staff, families, retiring pastors and/or other interested persons who share our goal of a close-knit, faith-based, integrated and active community. Bethel will be a neighborhood of people who may choose shared activities of work, worship and play. Mutual assistance will be promoted as an integral part of daily life, and residents will form a network of natural supports and friendships. Residents will have the safety and security of an established neighborhood where friends know how to look out for you, and they won’t be subjected to moving from rental home to home throughout their lives. Our community setting will allow members to age in place, and they will have the option of moving to another home in the same neighborhood if their needs change…without leaving their friends and natural supports behind.

Highlights of Services to be Offered

  • Bethel Community will serve as the property management association, providing maintenance of campus grounds and facilities. We will not be the provider of care services.

  • Homes will be rented by individuals with I/DD as well as other non-disabled persons who chose this community.

  • Individuals with I/DD will  be free to choose their provider for care services. We envision that there will be several agencies providing services on campus, in line with client choice.

  • In addition, we will seek to offer expanded services such as recreational, social and chaplain services which all community members can contribute to as volunteers or as a participant of services.

  • We are working closely with funding agencies to ensure compliance with CMS funding guidelines so that providers may continue to offer services to I/DD clients receiving Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funding in this setting.