Above: 16/W managers John Schwartz, also the chief executive officer with CLI, and Holly Binkley (right) cut the ribbon to officially open 16 West, a community space they hope to use as an area to help integrate individuals with disabilities with the community.
The community has a valuable new resource right in town — 16/W (pronounced 16 West), a community spot where integration is possible.
Despite many of the recent changes, CLI (Community, Life & Innovation) hasn’t lost one of its main focuses of making a unified community, according to John Schwartz, CLI chief executive officer and manager of the new 16/W, located at, of all places, 16 West Main St. in downtown Norwalk.
“There’s been a lot of changes in what we do and what we do for people with disabilities and what pertains to them,” Schwartz said.
“(But) our mission is to help our people get integrated into the community. That can be hard to do. If someone has a significant disability, it’s hard to get out of the sheltered workshop on the outside of town to come (into town). Where as here, they can walk or wheel out the front door and access the library or other places downtown.”