On November 19, 1963 The Ohio State Lantern carried a front page article titled, “Student injured in football game”. It was the championship touch football game between Phi Delta Theta and another fraternity. The last play of the game Dick Maxwell was scoring a touchdown when he was injured, breaking his neck. After two years of surgeries and rehabilitation, Dick returned to classes with the help of his mother, fraternity brothers and high school friends who lifted his manual wheelchair for him to attend classes in the then-inaccessible OSU buildings.
On June 7, 1968, almost five years after his accident, Dick’s picture was in the Columbus Dispatch accompanying an article titled, “Quadriplegics stymied by lack of home”. Dick was working and living at Dodd Hall; the article emphasized there was no place for people to go once they were rehabilitated. Dick was pictured with Jack Dacre who faced the same problem after being paralyzed in an automobile accident at the age of 20. Jack spent time in Dodd Hall and then, because of a lack of accessible housing, he moved to a nursing home. He earned his college degree while he lived at the nursing home – a student transported him to and from classes using a portable wheelchair and lifting him into the car.
Creative Living was founded in Columbus, Ohio by OSU professionals and community members. It solved the housing dilemma for physically disabled individuals who needed some assistance but still desired to live on their own. They could improve their quality of life and become as independent as possible. Creative living opened 18 apartments in September 1974. Because it was filled to capacity and the need for such housing was growing, Creative Living II was built and opened 16 more apartments in August 1986.
Creative Living continues to be recognized as an innovative, cost-effective alternative to skilled nursing facilities, where costs for similar care would increase ten-fold. Our residents are grateful to Creative Living; they have fuller and richer lives because of the opportunity to develop their potential while residing with us.