It is hard enough to bring up a child — but when that child has special needs your world changes. Teresa H. knows that challenge first hand. Residing at Everglades Village since 1996, her two sons ages 9 and 14 were each born here far from her own birthplace in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her youngest son has faced special challenges. But the place those disabilities are encountered makes a difference!

“Everglades is a warm and welcoming place, something you don’t always experience elsewhere,” Teresa reflects. “Sometimes it’s really hard to make ends meet as a single parent, but when times get tough, staff and neighbors just seem to be there to help with a box of groceries or gifts at Christmas.”

Some children and families need a little extra help. That’s what we’re about. Everglades Village helps families with special needs gain access to accessible living space, specialized child care and medical and therapeutic services. Bus transportation helps families get about. Each amenity helps break down the barriers to independence. For Teresa and her children, living in a planned community replete with subsidized child care and clinical services (even a speech therapist) and attending church in a neighborhood-based congregation makes a difference. Neighborhood resources makes life a bit more manageable for a single parent like Teresa who starts her job harvesting okra at 3:00 AM each morning to earn a day’s wages and raise a family on her own.

Disabled youngsters want the same things as all young people – friendships, to be treated as young adults, control over their lives, and looking forward to living as independent adults one day. Rural Neighborhoods enables those dreams.