GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — What started out 10 years ago as a passion project continues to drive Erin Kiltz more than two years after her daughter’s death.
“The inspiration for BiG is my daughter Gracie Kiltz, and she actually would have turned 29 yesterday,” said Kiltz, the founder of Brookwood in Georgetown.
Kiltz said it wasn’t until Gracie was transitioning into adulthood that she had a dark realization. She started thinking about the next chapter of Gracie’s life, thoughts she hadn’t considered much before.
“Not really, until she was 18, and really aging out of the school system, did I realize how bleak her future would be,” Kiltz said.
That reality inspired Kiltz to create Brookwood in Georgetown, a vocational and residential community for adults with disabilities.
What started with eight residents — or citizens — has grown to 90. More than 100 volunteers offer support.
At a campus off Georgetown’s Church Street, the citizens work together making items like jewelry, pottery, and even pies, which are sold in a nearby gift shop.
Despite a robust facility, the nonprofit is bursting at the seams. It’s time to expand.
“Grace Place by BiG is really an answer to the number one fear of every parent with special needs,” Kiltz said. “What happens to that son or daughter when they are no longer living? Grace Place will eliminate all fears for those parents, and they’ll have a place where their son or daughter will thrive for a life time, they’ll be able to age in place.”
To create Grace Place, Brookwood in Georgetown is aiming to raise $14 million.
It’s already pulled in more than $3.5 million and will break ground on the first homes and infrastructure this summer.