Ridge Home Information
robert

Garden City, MI

#41 Mar 30, 2013
I apologize for using the word retardation, severely challenged is more appropriate but you can only imagine those children there at the went through with that word... Bless them all
Jonnie

Windermere, FL

#42 Jun 8, 2013
I just discovered my great aunt was an "inmate" there in 1940. She was 11 years old. She died when she was 18. does any one know how to find out more informtion about her?
Scott

Vacherie, LA

#43 Sep 17, 2013
In 1965 I was a counselor at a YMCA camp in Grandby Colo.(Camp Chief Ouray).
After training at the Ridge Home, oversaw challenged kids at the camp. The autistic children were awesome, could not feed themselves or go to the bathroom, but could add up any sequence of numbers or tell you what day your birthday was on 20 years from now.
Great learning curve that has followed me all my life.
My grandmother was a care taker at the home in Grand Junction.
Greyson

Denver, CO

#44 Sep 24, 2013
Dlwiesner wrote:
Hi
I worked at Ridge home as a volunteer from 1969 until 1974. There was nothing wrong with that home. We love all the "Children" there.
We did every thing we could to give them a Normal life.
I worked with children 7-18 years olds that were moderately retarded. Thankfully, now these people live at home because their parents LET THEM. NO one but their parents put them there.
I never saw abuse, only love.
There was a Hall that the little kids there were violent. The windows had to have boards on them, plywood height, because they threw things - every thing / any thing! But NO ONE bound them up. No one abused them. They did enough to themselves, which we tried to stop as much as we could. You have to remember the key word was retarded- but they were just kids.
I had one little girl on my regular hall name Katrina. She was 7 at the time I speak about.
She was beautiful. Long brown hair, big brown eyes, she looked normal - perfect. Her mother had her living there because of her boyfriend made her put her in there because of her disability- she was a little slow.
It was Christmas time; all the kids were home for the holiday except 3 kids. I donít remember the other 2 kids names, but I do remember they were autistic.
I volunteered to be with the kids Christmas Eve. Katrina was so sad. We all gave the kids present and I brought her an extra one, just from me. The other 2 kids where in their own lands, you couldnít reach them enough to even open their gifts.
Katrina was crying. She wanted her mom; she wanted to go home like the other kids. I asked her if she want some chocolate pudding and watch TV with me. That was the plan.
While I was making her pudding (Shak-a-pudding) her Mom showed up. I was in a room that was in L from her ( The halls had court yards with rooms around them), but I could see her.
Her mom came in the room to the right of me, and across the courtyard from her.
The RAN into each otherís arms, crying. Mom came to take her HOME. She had kicked out the jerk!!!!!!!!!
IT WAS THE BEST CHRISTMAS OF MY LIFE.
Ridge home was a school campus. Every one did the best they could for those kids, even the Old people. With out Ridge home those people would be living under bridges or in jails (which would be better then most options they have now)
Donít bad mouth what you donít know Ė You are lucky to have what you do.
THANK YOUR GOD
Are you out of you mind? I too was a volunteer at Ridge Home in 1971. The paid staff tortured those poor children -- allowing them to sit in dirty diapers for days, raping the girls, and boys, sitting around playing cards while us volunteers begged them to do their jobs and take proper care of the children in their charge. I am still haunted but what I witnessed at Ridge Home.
Linda

Kelowna, Canada

#45 Oct 1, 2013
Greyson wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you out of you mind? I too was a volunteer at Ridge Home in 1971. The paid staff tortured those poor children -- allowing them to sit in dirty diapers for days, raping the girls, and boys, sitting around playing cards while us volunteers begged them to do their jobs and take proper care of the children in their charge. I am still haunted but what I witnessed at Ridge Home.
I have a hard time believing that, not in the 60's or 70's. Having lived nearby for during those years I knew some of those 'kids' and the families who lived on campus and who were in charge of the place. If there was any truth to the things you claim to have witnessed why didn't you report it? I never heard even a whisper to suggest anything like you've claimed ...
jess162

Denver, CO

#46 Nov 16, 2013
I lived in arvada my whole life and saw the demolition of Ridge Home. What stands there now are brand new apartments, and some businesses like Big 5 and Jack in the Box. A Super Target stands on the far eastern end of the lot but not where any buildings stood. Across ridge road, on the north side, is a Red Rock Facility but hardly anyone goes there, unless its to watch the 4th of July fireworks. My husband works at the Big 5 where the educational buildings where for the patients and he's said some pretty weird things happen there like strange noises, shadows, and even voices. There are some new apartments just built these past few years and I can only imagine the activity they are getting.

As for he deaths recorded, one was recorded and it was a murder between two men in a parking lot of Ridge Home. From what I've understood as a citizen of Arvada, Ridge Home was never very good nor clean. Many workers treated the patients like crap and the sanitary conditions were so horrible it was said that patients were using the hallways as bathrooms. The dept brought on my having to clean the place was ultimately its demise and also why the buildings were demolished rather than reused; it would have been too expensive to clean.

I hope I helped clear things up. Ive been living around 64th and Wadsworth for almost 35 years and Ridge Home was on 52nd and Kipling; so about 2 miles or so from my house.
Jeliman42

Denver, CO

#47 Dec 23, 2013
Mark wrote:
I was inside the home after it was left emty a year before it was otrn down. If it there was no kids mistreated then why was ther rooms in the basement with cages and arm and leg restraints left on the walls? I have video of this but due to tresspassing will not post it. What were those rooms for?
<quoted text>
I went In to the buildings last night which I think is the school buildings. We were messed with by hearing knocking, voices, and even old nails hitting walls. The building that is still there is the school buildings right? It's like all the paranormal activity came to this building because the rest was torn town. We found a chart with names and began saying the names and that's when we started to get results from the ''ghosts'' also we found old neck braces and chairs with straps. We did not find a way to get into the basement of the school. Please give me any information that you have. The links everyone left 3 years ago no longer work.
Jeliman42

Denver, CO

#48 Dec 23, 2013
PorcelainPrincess wrote:
<quoted text>
Not sure where you are reading all this but it's bs. Ridge Home was close in the 1990s. Check your sources a bit more and you will find fed reports of investigations done there in the 1980s and 1990s.
Also try taking a trip to meet some of the people who work at what is the new Ridge Home, that happened to work there (At Ridge Home, yes Ridge Home, not under another name other than State Home for Mental Defectives at Ridge, which the name you got wrong as well) that work at the "new Ridge Home" which is basically a continuation of Ridge Home but this place does have a new name.
Check local newspaper archives, you will find your proof of Ridge Home's closing being in the 1990s. Not just following blindly from some website that apparently didn't do their homework either. Because believe it or not, not everyone who posts everything on a website is correct. And not everyone does their homework.(I have done over 10 years of research on this place, and REAL research, not following websites blindly)
So if you want to believe the bs of websites that don't have an ounce of real research, go a head, or you can believe the people who worked there, had relatives that worked there, or those who have one of those just mentioned plus a lot of freaking research.
I am currently adding real newspaper articles of Ridge Home on my site, some of which will do half your research for you.
I went In to the buildings last night which I think is the school buildings. We were messed with by hearing knocking, voices, and even old nails hitting walls. The building that is still there is the school buildings right? It's like all the paranormal activity came to this building because the rest was torn town. We found a chart with names and began saying the names and that's when we started to get results from the ''ghosts'' also we found old neck braces and chairs with straps. We did not find a way to get into the basement of the school. Please give me any information that you have. The links everyone left 3 years ago no longer work.
Robbie

United States

#49 Dec 26, 2013
I have heard of very tough treatment that has happened there first hand from my mother and two of her siblings who all had grown up there in the 50's, as well as, my moms best friend who had worked there and adopted a little autistic boy whom she cared for until his death at the age of 43 last year. For those of you who believe that just sociopaths and violent psychos were kept there, that is false. My mother who lived there most of her childhood is mentally handicapped, but lives completely on her own and is the sweetest person you will ever meet! All of her siblings who were normal kids who had abusive alcoholic parents were eventually adopted and
went on to become very successful adults with families of their own. Keeping this in mind, something good had to be happening in at least one part of Ridge during that time.
Kat

Denver, CO

#50 Jan 4, 2014
In the early 1990s I worked in a division of state purchasing. One of the places that I worked with on bids was Ridge Home, with a person named Chuck Neff. I never went out there and was relieved.
I had a cousin in NH who was consigned to such a place. My aunt didn't have the tenacity to raise him and was brave enough to admit it. She loved him and visited every week. As the world changed he grew up and got to live with a family with the gift for caring for different people. He had a decent last decade or so with them before he died tragically.
My father also worked as a supply man at a state facility in NH. He had to go inside often. He saw conditions and behaviors from both residents and staff that bothered him and that was part of the reason he left a well paying job to bring us to Colorado.
Finally, my husband when I was younger worked as a part time guard at Denver's Laradon Hall to supplement our i income. As with any time you conglomerate people, there were occasionally problems. In general, though, staff did the best they could to take care of those whose families knew their own limitations.
Zack

Arvada, CO

#51 Jan 16, 2014
So, can anyone tell me if any of the original buildings are still standing? Is there any evidence of the former existence of this place?
Med Tech

Leesville, LA

#53 May 10, 2014
sped teacher wrote:
No one uses the word "Retarded"; it's special needs. If you were so close to people at Ridge Home, you would know the correct wordage!
<quoted text>
Dear Sped Teacher.... I worked at The Wheat Ridge Regional Center from 1978-1995 and for your information during the 1960's up until the early 80's the residents who lived at the center were medically classified as Mild, Moderate or Severely Retarded. You can call it what you want but the correct term which is also used today is Developmentally Disabled.
Med Tech

Leesville, LA

#54 May 10, 2014
History of the Wheat Ridge Regional Center



The Wheat Ridge Regional Center officially opened on July 1, 1912. When the facility was first opened there were 43 boys and 37 girls admitted with 80 technicians charged to care for them. There was a restriction that only children between five and fourteen could be admitted. During the 30's the institution grew to 200 with a waiting list of fifty.



In 1951 the census for WRRC grew to a population of 350, ranging from three months to 70 years of age. The administration of the school included a physical plant, farm and dairy with assets of $1,500,00.00. Ridge was no longer a "retention home" for the mentally retarded but was seen as a rehabilitation and training facility. Also during the 1950's the facility grew. There was actually a principal and 12 staff, including 2 speech therapist, 8 teachers, 1 recreational supervisor and an aide. A full maintenance department and many employees were needed to run the dairy and farm. Between 1957 - 1958, twelve individuals were discharged and 9 returned to community living with their families. Ridge also had several residents who had full or part time jobs in the community.



During the 60's and 70's the institution continued to grow and change. The census at the end of 1963 was 929. The agency had a barbershop, beauty shop, canteen and sewing room. Many community groups helped out so that the facility was able to raise money for camps and other needs.



In the 80's the philosophy of services for people with developmental disabilities had changed to looking at more community based services. Ridge was given funds to build 14 new group homes off the main campus in the community. Also, Ridge began to downsize it's population in the 80's and 90's. The downsizing was a direct link to many of the Community Center Boards offering smaller, more individualized settings for the developmentally disabled.



The emphasis now, in today's day and age, is for the residents of WRRC is to focus on individualized programs to assist them in reaching their own goals. Overall many residents and their families are very happy with the care and services that they receive at WRRC. Ridge provides three day program areas for the individuals we serve; a site in the community provides residents with pre-vocational training as well as individual therapies, another site in the community where people with DD learn physical work tasks (such as sorting, stocking, etc) and for those who are a risk to themselves and others we have a day program area on campus. The reason for many of the residents success is the dedicated staff that work for the agency. Countless staff have retired from Ridge with 20 - 30 years of direct services to the individuals who live here.

The above information can be found on the Colorado Department of Human Services web site.
A_M_A

Denver, CO

#55 Oct 29, 2014
My mother worked there in the 70's until near her death in 1989 (breast cancer). Do any of you former employees remember her? Her name was Sharlette Anderson.
justme

Denver, CO

#56 Mar 27, 2015
the guy wrote:
There was a movie made about ridge homes called "session 9". Although totally fictional it gave the feeling of something totally wrong on the land it took place on. I can't even begin to describe the wierd vibes and noises and such while on the property. I really doubt that a janitor flipped but it was a good idea for the morbid minds to chew on. I don't think the place was "hostel" status nor do i think the place was filled with sparkles and rainbows. To Dlwiesner, I'm ecstatic that you had that heart warming experience of a truly non materialistic Christmas. It's people like you that make still believe that there is good people in the care of BD and people with learning disabilities. But i do have to inquire if you saw absolutely NO bunk treatment of "patients". I have a sister with downs syndrome and i've dealt some people that have no business caring for anyone. It's hard for me to belive that there was the best treatment anyone could imagine in such a large facility of decadence. And by the way i really resent the comment of "You are lucky to have what you do. THANK YOUR GOD" I'm very grateful to even be alive let alone what i have(not to mention what i give) and the "THANK YOUR GOD" was a great way to condescend me. Please do NOT talk down to me. I was only entertaining urban legend.
session 9 was a fictional story about Danvers state hospital. wrrc had nothing to do with it.
Vgcrocker

Antioch, CA

#57 Aug 18, 2015
david wrote:
my mom worked at Rainbow Hall at Ridge home from about 1969 to about the late 70's. she worked for ridge until the late 90's i think. it was called wheat ridge state training home during the 70's later shortened to ridge home. She worked in rainbow hall for most of her time there and it was the younger kids who stayed at Rainbow. my mom always talked about a little boy "Billy Marvin" and a little korean girl. The way my mom talked about those kids you would never think there was anything ailing them. I went to a christmas there with and was shocked to see the sad mental state of the kids but my mom would light up just being with them. The little Korean girl was blind and could not talk but she was beautiful. Later I did volunteer work with special olympians and understood what my mom saw in those kids. after the main home closed my mom worked at the satellite homes of ridge. I am sure there were incidents of some abuse as the workers would get frustrated dealing with clients. My mom did talk about some employees being disciplined for various reasons.Ridge home got the name becasue it was in wheat ridge it was just north of the railroad tracks during the time my mom worked there some blgs were on the south side of the tracks.
My mother also worked at Ridge State Home as she referred to it. I remember Billy Marvin who they nicknamed Spiffy. She lived them all and sometimes brought a child or 2 home for the holidays...as they were wards of the state.
Lloren7z

United States

#58 Nov 10, 2015
Dlwiesner wrote:
Hi
I worked at Ridge home as a volunteer from 1969 until 1974. There was nothing wrong with that home. We love all the "Children" there.
We did every thing we could to give them a Normal life.
I worked with children 7-18 years olds that were moderately retarded. Thankfully, now these people live at home because their parents LET THEM. NO one but their parents put them there.
I never saw abuse, only love.
There was a Hall that the little kids there were violent. The windows had to have boards on them, plywood height, because they threw things - every thing / any thing! But NO ONE bound them up. No one abused them. They did enough to themselves, which we tried to stop as much as we could. You have to remember the key word was retarded- but they were just kids.
I had one little girl on my regular hall name Katrina. She was 7 at the time I speak about.
She was beautiful. Long brown hair, big brown eyes, she looked normal - perfect. Her mother had her living there because of her boyfriend made her put her in there because of her disability- she was a little slow.
It was Christmas time; all the kids were home for the holiday except 3 kids. I donít remember the other 2 kids names, but I do remember they were autistic.
I volunteered to be with the kids Christmas Eve. Katrina was so sad. We all gave the kids present and I brought her an extra one, just from me. The other 2 kids where in their own lands, you couldnít reach them enough to even open their gifts.
Katrina was crying. She wanted her mom; she wanted to go home like the other kids. I asked her if she want some chocolate pudding and watch TV with me. That was the plan.
While I was making her pudding (Shak-a-pudding) her Mom showed up. I was in a room that was in L from her ( The halls had court yards with rooms around them), but I could see her.
Her mom came in the room to the right of me, and across the courtyard from her.
The RAN into each otherís arms, crying. Mom came to take her HOME. She had kicked out the jerk!!!!!!!!!
IT WAS THE BEST CHRISTMAS OF MY LIFE.
Ridge home was a school campus. Every one did the best they could for those kids, even the Old people. With out Ridge home those people would be living under bridges or in jails (which would be better then most options they have now)
Donít bad mouth what you donít know Ė You are lucky to have what you do.
THANK YOUR GOD
Thank you for saying this! My older brother was there in the 80s. He was profoundly retarded and was born with most of his face missing. My mother visited him almost every day until he died at the age of four. She has wonderful things to say about the staff at ridge home and how they were supportive and loving!!
Ken

Oakland, CA

#59 Dec 1, 2015
Vgcrocker wrote:
<quoted text>
My mother also worked at Ridge State Home as she referred to it. I remember Billy Marvin who they nicknamed Spiffy. She lived them all and sometimes brought a child or 2 home for the holidays...as they were wards of the state.
I probably worked with your mom.... I worked there in the late 70's and all of the 80's. First on a hall called "moonbeam" ... And then out to the satellite houses. I left in 1989. It was a great experience for me and I don't regret ever working there. The people I worked with back then were wonderful caring people for such a challenging environment.
mitchwoodard

Castle Rock, CO

#61 Mar 30, 2016
my name is Mitch Woodard, my brother Mickey Woodard was hit by a car at two years old. He then spent twenty five years being in the mind of a two year old. He had severe seizures daily and suffered until JESUS came to get him. I am currently living in a nursing home, and would like to have the people here write letters to the "abandoned" residents to let them know someone cares. I live at Berthoud Living Center, 855 Franklin Ave, Berthoud CO 80513.I remember going to Ridge and setting up carnivals, Christmas decorations, and bringing clothing to my friends. I am 53 and capable of spreading joy to those who deserve it most. I was younger than my brother and regret not doing more. I am WILLING to help now.
paige

Aurora, CO

#62 Apr 30, 2016
ooh_ wrote:
You're an idiot and probably just out of short pants. Before the 1990's and the age of political correctness 'retarded' was acceptable and many of those who are now moving on in age from that era still use the verbage. If your delicate sensibilities have been offended, tough. This is the real world and not everyone is going to worry about what you think is 'correct'.
<quoted text>
AGREED! Just Figures...an egocentric modern day "teacher" would totally miss the entire point and make such a Retarded comment! Hah

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