CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A second Fairweather Lodge is coming to State College. It’s a program led by Strawberry Fields Inc. that provides permanent housing for adults with mental illness who are active members of the community and wish to live independently but struggle to do so financially.

The first Fairweather Lodge opened about 15 years ago in Ferguson Township.

“We’ve seen the benefit of folks having a permanent place to live, companionship of roommates, sharing of expenses, sharing of experiences, and it’s been really successful,” Strawberry Fields C.E.O. Cynthia Pasquinelli said. “People need a home. A home where they can build security, build a life, recover from all the challenges of having a mental illness, and the Fairweather Lodge offers that.”

The Fairweather Lodge will take over the former House of Care building on West Beaver Avenue. The non-profit, House of Care, closed their doors in May 2021 after 20 years of serving low-income residents with limited support and health challenges.

The Lodge will house three to four individuals.

“They can stay there for life if they choose and develop that close relationship that many folks don’t have,” Pasquinelli said.

State College Borough Council transferred the property to Strawberry Fields for a 40-year mortgage with a one dollar per year fee.

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“It’s a real privilege to have this vote of confidence from them,” Pasquinelli added.

The proposal includes an agreement to make $100,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds available in 2022 for rehabilitation, plus $60,000 to $100,000 for added rehabilitation in 2023.

Pasquinelli said they hope to open within nine to 12 months.