Many communities have homes for developmentally disadvantaged adults, where are the residents receive food, shelter, support, medical attention and hopefully loving care. There are some people living in these communities who are opposed to homes like these being nearby. They are concerned about property values and they may express some fear of people with disabilities who reside in these homes.
The photography I present was made at the Lucette Residential Care Facility in Thomaston, Maine during the summer of 1999. Capt. Thomas Williams built the home in 1876. Later it was acquired by Dr. Irville Luce, a dentist. His granddaughter Elizabeth Luce converted it to the Lucette. When I made these pictures there were 18 residents and 12 staff members.
The residents, all of whom are developmentally disabled, are considered to be the best neighbors by the people who live nearby. In fact, the Town of Thomaston declared one of the residents, Nilo Matson a hero because of his efforts in saving a woman’s life while he was out for walk.
All of those photographed are residents of Lucette, and each person collaborated with me in making their pictures. Some were eager to be photographed with their most precious possessions, such as Louis Little with his toy cars, Gloria Carol with her stuffed animals and Nilo Matson with his guitar.
It was a joyful experience to spend time with these folks and make their photographs. Hopefully this work will help in some way to show that people with disabilities can make good neighbors.