DAVIE, Fla. – Nearly 54 million Americans, from children to adults, are coping with special needs.
An expansion effort at a group home in Davie will help many in the South Florida community.
Whispering Oaks in Davie is a place where 15 special needs adults between the ages of 22 to 55 call home.
“We really try to foster that home environment and try to give as much individual attention as we can to each individual because they are all individuals and very different,” said Laura Prado with Whispering Oaks.
Don and Annette Lewandowski’s son Donnie has been a resident there for the past 10 years.
“It’s very comforting knowing that your son lives in a facility where he’s safe and he’s happy and he has friends, he has a life,” Annette said.
Through a partnership with an organization called L.I.F.E. which stands for “Living Inclusively For Everyone,” a 2,700 foot expansion is now underway to create a designated activity center.
The expansion will benefit not just the residents of Whispering Oaks, but also other group home residents throughout the area.
“This is visionary, this is a wonderful community and the clubhouse will give the kids a special place to go,” said Nitza Gallegos, who has a daughter with special needs.
The clubhouse will be a place where special needs adults can engage in social activities, learn how to use computers, get vocational training and participate in physical fitness programs.
“Every journey starts somewhere and this journey has taken, you know, twists and turns, but it’s landed in a wonderful place,” said Dr. David Steiman, president of L.I.F.E.
“Our dream was always not to just build a dwelling, but to build a home and a community because that’s really what they deserve,” Prado added.
Construction began last month and is scheduled to be completed by next spring.
For details on how to support the project go to: life-florida.org.