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A short story of hope

Residents+at+the+El+Paso+State+Supported+Living+Center+pose+for+a+photo+at+the+newly+introduced+sports+complex.++
Joel Molina
Residents at the El Paso State Supported Living Center pose for a photo at the newly introduced sports complex.

Laughter, smiles and fun echoed through the El Paso State Supported Living Center (EPSSLC) as the facility officially opened its new sports complex. After 49 years, a once dirt patch finally turned into an outdoor complex, which includes a basketball court, baseball field, soccer goal and other equipment for residents to enjoy.   

Laura Morre, the facility director for the EPSSLC, shares the history behind the facility.  

“We were established in 1973, however, we got out first individual receiving services in 1974, which means this is our 50th anniversary this year,” Moore said.  

The living center provides 24/7 care, housing, food and opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities.  

“The State supported living center is what’s referred to as an intermediate care facility and what we do is we provide 24/7 care for adults with intellectual disabilities,” Moore said. “A lot of out individuals here, they either have high medical needs in addition to the intellectual disability or they have behavioral needs in addition to the intellectual disability.”  

At the living center, families can be at peace because they know support is provided to 100 individuals for 24 hours a day. A medical clinic, psychiatry department, dental department and vocational services are many of the services provided for residents on campus. Many of the residents work in vocational services on campus to earn money or even out in the community. The goal of the facility is to prepare residents to live out in the community.  

“About five years ago, the previous administration had requested to have something built and it was determined that a sports complex would be the most ideal,” Moore said. “That way it kind of brings all the individuals out, keeps them engaged; we also are part of the Miracle League here which is a baseball league that our individuals participate with folks in the community, and so it just made sense that we would have sports.”  

On Jan. 18, the official ribbon cutting brought out Chico from the Chihuahuas after the new partnership between the EPSSLC and the baseball team and resident, Carol, had the opportunity to sing “Take me out to the ball game” at the ceremony.  

“Yeah, I was singing over here, singing notes,” Carol said.  

Moore hopes to bring out the El Paso community to play sports alongside the residents someday. It’s an opportunity that would leave lasting memories for the residents. Moore also plans to purchase a volleyball net for residents who want to play.  

“What I’m hoping to get out of this is you students to become a part of our family here and maybe volunteer to come out and play volleyball with our individuals, if you want to play baseball, come play baseball,” Moore said.  

Having a new sports complex brings new hopes and happiness for residents living on site.  

“We’re excited to be able to give that to them because they’re going to be our superstars,” Moore said. “They’re going to be our champions and we get the opportunity to be proud for them.” 

At the opening ceremony, the El Paso Police Department visited and played against the residents. Moore stated that many of the residents who live on-site have had a previous history with law enforcement. However, Moore says EPPD visiting and playing sports with the residents may have helped residents perceive law enforcement in a much more peaceful way and changing the overall narrative.  

With residents’ past and obstacles, they have faced throughout their lives, residents remain hopeful for a better future.   Moore invites and encourages the community to come out and play their favorite sport with residents at the EPSSLC sports complex at 6700 Delta Drive. For more information contact the living center at 915-782-6300.  

Avery Escamilla-Wendell is the web and copy editor and may be reached at [email protected] or Instagram @by_avery_escamilla 

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About the Contributors
Avery Escamilla-Wendell
Avery Escamilla-Wendell, Arts & Culture Editor
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Contributor/Photographer
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photo contributor and began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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