Harbor House spreads the word about our water quality

Louisville’s drinking water is safe, and Suzanne Collins is helping spread the word. The 45-year-old Harbor House employee carefully pulls a return label from a sheet and gently places it on an envelope.

That envelope contains Louisville Water Company’s 2021 Annual Water Quality Report. It’s currently being shared with customers throughout our service area. Suzanne is part of the team completing this critical task for Louisville Water.

Harbor House provides employment and programming for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Assistant Development Director Kelly Green said these adults sometimes fall through the cracks.

“For most of our clients, this is their home away from home,” Green said. “If they weren’t here, they might be sitting at home in front of a TV all day without any outside stimulation.”

At Harbor House, adults aged 21 to senior citizens can hang out with friends, exercise, do crafts, and learn life skills to make them more independent. They can also work and earn a paycheck. Collins has been working in the Harbor House mailroom for 11 years.

The money she earns allows her to go out to eat, get her nails done, shop, and buy gifts for family and friends.

Louisville Water Vice President Kelley Dearing Smith said hiring the Harbor House team helps ensure the company’s diverse customer base is reflected in its business partners.

“We believe in fostering a diverse and inclusive network of suppliers,” she said.

Besides the mailroom operation, Harbor House’s “Home Sweet Home” cleaning service also offers clients a chance to work. In addition, nearly 100 clients a day can get their hands dirty in an on-site community garden. They learn to plant, care for, and sometimes even cook the things they grow.

“Our programs are very customized and made to challenge them mentally and physically every day,” Green said. “It also gives them a sense of pride, and that’s priceless.”

Harbor House recently broke ground on a new $12 million-dollar intergenerational building. It includes 35,000 square feet of space, which will triple capacity and expand the organization’s reach to include infants, school-age children, and more adult clients.

Harbor House is supported through government funding and community contributions. If you would like to donate, visit https://hhlou.org/.