BRATENAHL, Ohio (WJW) – On the outside, it looks like any other home nestled in the lakefront village of Bratenahl. But what makes this house special are the ‘colorful’ people who live inside.

“I love the staff here,” said Kelly Jones.

Jones, 52, is one of nine women with intellectual or developmental disabilities living in the home run by New Avenues to Independence, Inc., a certified provider for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

“We started in 1952 by a group of parents who wanted something different. The only thing that was offered at that time were institutions,” CEO Karen Knavel said.

New Avenues owns and operates 10 homes throughout Northeast Ohio, including Cuyahoga, Lake and Ashtabula counties, with caregivers requiring co-ed residents to do household chores, find employment or volunteer work.

They also provide extracurricular activities, including music and art.

But there have been some challenges. Because the ongoing workforce crisis, New Avenues has had to cut back on some services for its clients, including daily excursions out in the community.

“We try to tailor services to each individuals’ preferences and to do that, that requires a lot of staff. Sometimes one-on-one or just smaller groups,” said Knavel.

New Avenues will be celebrating its 70th anniversary by holding a black-tie gala fundraiser on Thursday, with proceeds going toward New Avenues’ $15 million annual budget.

It’s all to benefit people like Alicia Tucker, who will be joining in the celebration.

“I’m going to look so cute, Jennifer Jordan. Everybody’s going to say, ‘Tucker looks so nice.'” Tucker said.

If you would like to attend the gala, participate in a raffle for great prizes or donate, click here.