It is said that “a journey begins with a single step.” One huge journey that begins with one such step is bringing a child into the world. When you learn that your child has autism spectrum disorder or a mental health concern, it becomes a journey for which the entire family needs a great deal of support.
We thank our donors for joining us in making the journey a better one for families touched by autism and mental health issues. Supporting The Renowned Care, Renewed Hope: Campaign for Glenwood gives life-changing care and hope to more and more families.
Donors made it possible for us to exceed our $10,000,000 goal. Much more important than any campaign number, though, are the people behind the number – people who are living – and going to live – better lives because of community support.
Earlier this year, Capstone Collegiate Communities completed three houses for individuals with autism on Glenwood’s campus off Sicard Hollow Road. Those beautiful houses on serene Turkey Foot Lake have now become home to 16 people who are enjoying the peaceful surroundings immensely.
This summer, in collaboration with United Methodist Children’s Home, eight children moved into our first off-campus children’s residence, Overton Home. And in Irondale, six women are now enjoying two community homes.
The heart of our campaign is coming to life with the purchase of three buildings to expand our services. Our new Glenwood Avondale campus is where we will provide evaluations, diagnosis, speech and occupational therapies and host our in-home services team. Here we will also offer ABA (applied behavior analysis) services.
ABA is currently the most utilized therapy for autism in the country. ABA is an evidence-based therapy to improve social behavior. ABA therapy begins with a comprehensive evaluation of a child’s skills and current environment. Based on scientific methods, therapists help to develop new skills, shape and refine previously learned skills, and decrease socially significant problem behaviors.
Heating and air have been added to our gymnasium and the pool has been resurfaced at the original campus. These are both important aspects of the health, wellness and the physical development of – and the social interaction and recreation time of – our students and residents.
Other projects made possible by the capital campaign include:
- A memorial garden created near Harper Chapel.
- Space for our Human Resources Department.
- Start-up expenses for our Montgomery campus.
- In Huntsville, Journey Academy’s educational programs for adults with autism or other behavioral health needs. Here, adults participate in programs focusing on the development of daily living, social, vocational and technical skills.
- A vocational rehab program on Birmingham’s southside called Journey Academy Birmingham. Adults here receive aid in community-based living and vocational skills. They also have the opportunity for job training and coaching at this location.
Donors have recently helped us secure a matching donation from The Daniel Foundation to work on the Community Center and a few other important campaign projects. Projects have begun including:
- An Arts Center – A visual and performing arts center will broaden and enrich the experience of people with ASD and other mental and behavioral concerns. An Arts Center can also help therapists address social and sensory concerns with those we serve.
- Much needed renovations to some of our older residential facilities.
- Long overdue renovations to our camping facilities.
- Improvements at our new Avondale campus, including plans for a preschool, with an indoor playground/gymnasium, to serve more children and be a demonstration site where others can learn to work with children with autism.
Early intervention is the key to improved outcomes for young children on the autism spectrum. The vision for our Avondale campus is that more children than ever before will receive outpatient diagnostic services, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy and preschool services at this one location and parents will receive training and support. It will serve as a training site for Universities in the areas of Education, Psychology, Nursing, Speech, Occupational Therapy, and Public Health.
We are thankful for the support of so many donors that have helped provide hope to families on this important journey.