A community response to an overwhelming need.
SLS was created in 2015 in response to the needs of several individuals with family members who have developmental disabilities. These families met at a local church, brought together by necessity and their shared faith. Available programs or state facilities in the region were not able to meet the needs of their particular situations. Some sought services out of state. According to a recent National Housing and Residential Supports Survey, there is an overwhelming need for more housing and residential support service options for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Existing options in Arkansas include state-run institutions (development centers), group homes, and independent living apartments. These are not always a good fit for the diverse needs of each client. There are also very long waitlists for all of these options. As it stands today, there is not enough capacity within Arkansas through existing facilities to support the vast majority of individuals with developmental disabilities.
The SLS approach is different because it gives developmentally disabled adults a sense of community, fostering choice and multiple options for connection. In addition, the services provided are tailored to the individual’s particular set of strengths and needs. It is a place that provides inclusion, purpose, hope, and independence, and embraces the human spirit and uniqueness of each person.