A year ago, I was approached by a family with an interesting proposal. Older in years and having a child with special needs that they cared for their entire life, they wanted Little Friends to consider making a commitment to care for the child when they passed. In return, they wanted to donate their home to our organization, with the full expectation that their child would live in the same home after they were gone.

The request that was made to us “was their dream.” It seemed to make a great deal of sense provided that the home could be used as part of our Residential Services program. This meant that changes will have to be made to the home to meet city and state regulations for Community Housing for individuals with disabilities. It also meant that details about something like this had to be discussed so that expectations were clearly understood by both the family and Little Friends. So many “what if” questions were raised and talked about, as this is a significant commitment to be made by both entities.

After several discussions and putting this concept into writing, I am pleased to share that Little Friends has agreed to help this family and has committed to caring for their child when it will be needed. While Little Friends will be the recipient of a home to provide residential care for their child and others in the future, we will orchestrate the support necessary to let this family have the peace of mind to know their child will be living in the same home they’ve known all their life.

When all of the discussions were over and the paperwork in place, the conversation ended with a handshake. What followed was “thank you…you have made our dream come true.”

I know that others have the same feelings and challenges ahead. I hope it provides some comfort knowing that there are ways to address these fears, especially when a family has cared for their loved one who has special needs and requires that help and support. We would welcome the opportunity to be of help!

Did you know? Little Friends has been making a difference in our community since 1965. To learn more, visit www.littlefriendsinc.org.