Family-owned business invests in downtown Wayne
By Carolyn Marnon – “We thank God that we have 13 grandchildren and none have a disability that we have to place in a group home,” said Paul Kennedy, owner of Saints, Inc. You may have noticed their newly built administrative office on the former Frank’s Furniture lot next to the Dairy Queen on Wayne Rd. Saints Inc. moved into this new building after occupying space elsewhere in Wayne for nearly 20 years.
Saints Inc. “is dedicated to providing persons with developmental disabilities with a quality experience in a home setting and/or employment within the community which fulfills to the best of our ability the physical, social, vocational, and psychological needs of the customer as expressed by the customer, their families and guardians, and others significant in their lives” reads their mission statement.
Husband and wife team Paul and Victoria Kennedy opened their family-owned business in 1978 to help developmentally disabled adults stay a part of their community. Paul’s grandfather, who had persons with disabilities in his home, inspired him to get into this line of business.
Kendal Kinney, Secondary Administrator at the Wayne location where 10-11 people are employed, laughs and calls himself the day-to-day operator. One of his goals is to revamp the company’s website. Someone has written on the whiteboard on the conference room wall “I love Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy” and punctuated the words with drawings of a heart and a smiley face. Kendal says the Kennedy’s want to be a part of the regrowth of downtown Wayne and were willing to invest in the city by building new offices here rather than continuing to lease space.
Paul says his company does not place individuals in homes nor are they a counseling-type service. Placements of developmentally disabled individuals is done by Community Living Services (also in Wayne), Wayne Center or Washtenaw County Community Health. Saints Inc. role is as a contractor of staffing services to provide care to the individuals in group homes. Staff members provide 24-hour care at the group home, helping the “customers” (as Paul calls the individuals) with food preparation, transportation, laundry, medication, guidance on daily living and any other help needed. Overall, Paul says he employs approximately 165 people.
As it appears on the current website, Saints Inc.’s customer focus goal sums it up. “We believe the quality of our services has a powerful impact on the lives of the persons we serve and the quality of their lives.”