“Why 40Better – the Medfield Inclusion Project is a better solution for our town.
Our town is at a crossroads. We have an opportunity to make real, lasting, and impactful change that can serve to integrate mandated town 40B requirements with support for people with disabilities. Change begins with a dream and a vision; but it will “take a village.”
For me, the vision started in August of 1993 when my pediatrician informed me that my newborn son had Down syndrome. Lying in my hospital bed, in shock, I began fast-forwarding through Andrew’s life into adulthood. Who would take care of him as I aged? Would he have friends? Where would he live? Twenty-three years later, the questions remain unanswered, but there is reason to be hopeful.
Medfield is a wonderful place to raise a child with a disability. Kindness and philanthropy abound here. The Integrated Preschool, inclusive classrooms, and a thriving Best Buddies programs are examples of the heart in our community. Our kids see those with differences as peers and embrace friendships with them. For individuals with disabilities and their families, the public school years are the best of times. Their real challenges begin on graduation day, when they enter the world of Adult Services. Programs for adults are grossly under-funded, jobs opportunities are scarce, transportation is unreliable, friends have moved away, and housing has a waiting list of over 10 years.
The Medfield Inclusion Project seeks to provide adults with disabilities a path to happiness and fulfillment in their local communities through job creation, housing and friendships. We have a unique opportunity to create Community Residential Homes for 9 individuals. As a bonus, each bed counts towards the town’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI).
This may solve our immediate 40B needs and give us Safe Harbor from the Mega-40B; but we must act quickly!
There are dozens of ways to help. PLEASE join me on Thursday, December 1, at 7 pm at the UCC Church at 496 Main St. to learn more about Community Residences, the Medfield Inclusion Project, and 40Better. Your attendance will literally open doors and make a difference!”
Suzanne Siino, 358 Main Street, Medfield