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.