Working Towards A Better Tomorrow
SMILE plans to establish community homes for individuals with developmental disabilities, in which the individuals are placed with their peers that are in the same range of abilities and age. At the same time, these homes will focus on independent living, as this is a feasible alternative for these individuals while their parents or caretakers increase in age and are no longer able to provide for their loved one. SMILE was founded in 2010 by Allan and Patricia Milford, who have a 31-year-old son with Down syndrome. Their concern for Steven’s care once they are gone, or are no longer able to physically take care of him themselves, was the driving force in starting this organization. They are obviously not the only ones is this predicament. Unfortunately, according to the Star-Ledger, in 2011 there were over 8,000 people awaiting placement from the government’s list and just a mere 229 that were placed. Something more needs to be done to help provide these individuals with a home, and that’s where SMILE can help to be a part of the solution.
The Steven Milford Independent Living Experience (SMILE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they face the challenges of adulthood. The number of people left without feasible living alternatives in this phase of life increases every year. SMILE is in the process of establishing community homes in which individuals can receive the support they need from their peers and the guidance they need from loving caretakers. Our desire is to make the residents of a SMILE home part of the community in which they live.
Our mission is to establish loving, safe, and uniquely designed homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing a functionally and appropriate environment focused on independent living and community integration.