Down the Road: Village Northwest Unlimited Provides Services for Disabled

Village Northwest Unlimited is located in Sheldon, Iowa and they provide multiple different services to people with physical and mental disabilities. "We offer services including residential services and vocational services, as well as day program services."The idea for Village Northwest came about in November of 1974 with the goal of helping these folks gain a little bit more independence," said President, CEO Barry Whitsell. "To see an individual start out needing a lot of support and to then teach them those skills that are needed to be more independent. Seeing a person eventually move into their own apartment--that's what it's all about," said Director of Admissions Phil Grove.In addition to helping those with disabilities, Village Northwest also employs 380 Iowans and helps the local economy in Sheldon. This greenhouse is owned and operated by Village Northwest and with almost 3000 tomato plants; they distribute them all across Siouxland.For those looking for help with their loved one, Whitsell has a simple message: "Likelihood is that we'll be able to provide services to those people. We're one of the premiere providers of services in the country... and we get people coming into our programs from all over the country, from as far as Alaska."When's the last time you heard of a grocery store that delivers? There's one in Sheldon that still delivers to some special customers. Monday through Friday in the early morning, a Fareway employee like Shelby Bruns starts making the rounds to gather the day's requests, requests that come from the clients at Village Northwest.Store manager Brent Kraft says milk is the big item of the day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.Tuesday and Thursday its regular groceries that get delivered, usually no later than 9am. "They have a few things that are different, a few things that are specific to each house. We deliver to three different houses. On their diet they have some things that are different," said Kraft. Kraft, who's worked 21 years for Fareway all over Iowa, says this special delivery program was going on long before he arrived at the Sheldon store seven years ago.If you can find the Fareway Store on highway 18 on the east side of Sheldon, not far from where this weekend's Risefest Christian Music festival is taking place. Here's a look at the schedule for Friday and Saturday.The gates opened at 5.Jayrah performs at 7.Tim Byrne at 7:30Joshua Jordan is at 8.Bob Lenz at 8:30.Loftland at 9:30.And the "Rapture Ruckus Dance Party" starts at 10:15. Saturday the gates open at 11AM.There's lot of music, but mixed in between the music are some speakers, including Jason Wiersma at 1:10pm, Grant Van Riesen at 2:50pm and Arturo Gomez at 7:05 pm.At 8:35 Rob Roozeboom, the founder of Rise Ministries will speak, followed by Jeremy Camp at 9:30pm.Tickets are 25-dollars and cover both days.Kids 10 and younger get in free.