Promise Community Homes, formerly Rainbow Village, announces their 50th year of providing affordable homes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

The beginning of 2023 is a remarkable time for Promise Community Homes, formerly Rainbow Village. This year marks the 50th year the organization has provided safe and affordable neighborhood homes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). In 1973, after years of discussion, planning, and fundraising, the founders of Rainbow Village broke ground on nine acres in Creve Coeur, Missouri, to begin building a community center and residential homes for their adult children with IDD. The organization began with seven homes serving a few dozen residents. Today, Promise Community Homes is the largest specialty housing nonprofit in St. Louis and serves 300 adults with IDD living in 86 neighborhood homes throughout the St. Louis community.

Our founders’ story is daring and profound. At a time when doctors encouraged families to place their children with IDD in remote and impersonal institutions, nine parents of children with IDD built a new model of community-integrated housing, literally from the ground up. Their vision imagined a world where any adult with IDD could live and thrive in a community close to loved ones, friends, and family, as well as employment and social opportunities. True trailblazers, our founders created community-based homes for their children decades before the Olmstead Decision. In 1999, the Supreme Court of the United States sided with Olmstead in the Olmstead v. L.C. case and determined “people with disabilities have a qualified right to receive state-funded supports and services in the community rather than institutions.” The founders of Rainbow Village, renamed Promise Community Homes in 2021, are Edward and Madeleine Boccia, Rumsey and Rosalie Ewing, Jerry and Marlene Kopman, Max and Rosalia Rosenbaum, Howard and Doris Sturgeon, Norm and Arlene Tice, Albert and Joyce Weltman, Dale and Dorothy Wernig, and Joe and Gloria Zelson.

Fifty years later, after serving tens of thousands of children and adults with IDD and their families, Promise Community Homes invites our community to join our 50th-anniversary ‘homecoming’ celebration. To learn more, visit


Rosalie Ewing, Norm Tice, Marlene Kopman
50th Anniversary Logo