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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Little Friends: New housing coming for children


Little Friends is one of six organizations in the State of Illinois that provides housing for children with special needs. In total, there are approximately 200 children who are in residential care in the State, with several children who because of limited resources are placed in other locations outside the State.

Thinking of the parents who are faced with this incredibly difficult situation and decision, one can’t help but empathize with what they are going through.

While making the decision to have a child in another location, it becomes even more challenging when the child has to be placed in a home where the distance between the child and parent is extended beyond reasonable access. Wanting to help is not the issue for everyone involved, especially the State. Finding available resources that are close by is the challenge at hand.

While we are not going to solve all the problems in the coming year, Little Friends is working with the Department of Children and Family Services to establish two new residential homes for special children who need outside home support. Our hope is to open the homes in the coming fiscal year and be operational within the next six months. Assuming all goes to plan, we will open these new homes that will serve six children in each home. The needs far exist what we are going to be able to do. Yet, this will help, which is what I believe we are supposed to do.

There continues to be demand for the work we do and unfortunately that far outpaces the supply and resources available to help.

Our goal as an organization remains to continue to expand our resources, with the intent of helping and caring for more children and adults dealing with intellectual/developmental disabilities, social and emotional challenges, and autism. I am hoping this news is one of several updates in the not too distant future that speaks to increased opportunities to help those individuals and families we serve.

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Mike Briggs
Mike Briggshttp://littlefriendsinc.org
Mike Briggs is the President and CEO of Little Friends. Little Friends empowers clients with autism and other developmental disabilities to thrive in our community. Their groundbreaking programs and nationally-renowned staff provide lifelong opportunities for growth, so their clients can work, learn, play and experience the joy of life’s everyday moments.