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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Scotland School for Veteran's Children ... BIG BIG PLANS

Many of you have shown interest in my "grand idea" of building a home for people with special needs.  I must first clarify what that home would look like.....
It would not be an institution.  This would be a home...
My dream is to create a handicap accessible place that children or adults could go and live.  The dream started when we began planning for Alexander's future.  The problem when you have a child with special needs is you don't really know what to expect.  What if.... in  10 years something happens to Ray and I. (I don't want it to... but we need to plan.) IF Alexander is walking and talking and potty trained, etc.... there might be a lot of people who would be interested in taking him.  BUT the reality is, that may not happen.  I want someone to love my child.  I think other people would like this also.  Or what about people with older children who would like to give their child and themselves some independence? I would like to create a home. Meals served. Social interaction. Love. Physical Therapy. Occupational Therapy. Developmental Therapy. Speech, Hearing, Vision Therapy. Private rooms. Nursing Staff. Support Staff. Green Grass. Auditoriums. Games. Crafts. Fun. Serenity. Love. A Home.

And - I found the perfect place. Here it is: Scotland School for Veteran's Children. The school was established in 1895 as a home for war orphans.  The mission of the school evolved into a home with educational value for children of any veteran.  In the 1990's the school was opened to relatives of veterans - ie. children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.  The school became a place of refuge for many inner - city children.  The list of graduates from Scotland School who went on for higher degrees and achieved their dreams is long.  But the list does not grow any longer.... the school closed in 2009.  And now it sits empty.

Check it out:
 One of the Main Halls
 The Chapel
 The Campus is Beautifully Landscaped
 Sidewalks exist everywhere for easy access
This is an overhead view of the SSVC Campus

I wish I had better pictures.  The campus is Beautiful!

The campus already has cottages for housing.  The campus has a gym and a swimming pool for therapy and fun play.  The campus has fields for exercise and relaxation.  The campus has a cafeteria for food preparation.  The campus has a chapel.  And the campus has plenty of buildings for therapy, education,  and other activities.

Problems: 
1.  Scotland School for Veterans Children is owned by the Government. This is a huge obstacle.  The government has so much red tape, moves slowly, and is quite inefficient.
2.  There are other proposals for the use of this property.  One is a Veteran's Hospital.  I believe this would be a great option. I would love to see a Veteran's Hospital and Home for Special Needs Children co-exist! I think the services would overlap and there would be a greater chance of maximizing the potential of everyone involved.  It would be a labor of love for these 2 groups to work together - but as far as finances go, (and we know in this economy everything is about finances..) it would make the area so much more cost effective.
3. Speaking of finances.... $$$  Big Problem Here.
4. I don't really know where to go from this idea stage.  I have no clue how to make this come to life - but I think it could be my life's calling.

So.... Now you know where my perfect place for my dream home would be. And ... even while writing this, I feel more and more compelled that a dream job would be to run it. Because the truth is - it could not turn into an institution. It must be a home. And, as a mother of a child who might one day live there, I would make sure it was a home.

Suggestions?  Comment with ideas or suggestions on how to solve some of my problems.   Especially problem #4.... where to go from here.

6 Comments:

At April 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM , Blogger Kisses4Kaylee said...

Where is this located? What state? I would think that the first step would be to contact the legislators in that state to offer a proposal for the use of the building...just as you have described so beautifully.

Your vision is wonderful! I have had something similar in mind but on a MUCH smaller scale...I have dreamed for many years of having a place where parents could leave their children on a short-term basis-- from several hours to long weekends-- and know that they are being cared for, receiving services they may need, have access to medical attention should the need arise, etc. Parents of young children do not often get to take vacations or "get-away" as it is; when you are the parent of a special-needs child (or in my case, 2), finding that quality time together and the chance to get-away and regroup as a couple becomes almost impossible. Yet, I believe it is essential to the strength and well-being of the relationship. Maybe one day we can join our ideas together and create the ultimate "home away from home" for those in need.

 
At April 7, 2011 at 5:57 PM , Blogger Kristen said...

Laurie - Scotland School is located in PA - just about 20 miles north of the MD state line along route 81.

 
At April 7, 2011 at 10:46 PM , Blogger Wildtree To You With Erin said...

LOVE your idea!!!! I don't know if you knew this but we had a non profit for awhile before the girls were born. There are a TON of resources out there. Especially for children with special needs. I can pursue my special ed contacts and see what I can come up with and any other fundraisers I can come up with!

 
At April 7, 2011 at 11:29 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

I think it is a beautiful place and a beautiful idea!

 
At April 8, 2011 at 7:02 AM , Blogger Kelle said...

Thank you for your kind comment. Your family is beautiful, as is your blog. That little one? Precious. Keep sharing!

 
At April 8, 2011 at 7:23 AM , Blogger Awn said...

K, I would also suggest non-profit resources and grant options. I hear that whole writing a grant thing is a big pain, but I believe you're up to the task! The bonus with it being a non-profit, that despite what salary you may one day offer, graduates with student loans might qualify to have the loans forgiven after 10 years of working for you. That is a huge incentive to work for maybe a little less but be fulfilled in your job!
Reading this post, I can't help but think "This is what she should be doing". You can practically see the passion you have levitating out of the computer screen! You know that God always provides a way for His plans and will quickly shut down what He does not intend for us, whether it is just temporarily put on hold or work for another to complete. Keep praying about it girl!

 

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