The P.O.P. Day Program has seen exponential growth between 2020 and 2023. We have welcomed 31 students to our P.O.P. group as of 2023. With the growth rate of Polk County being the 7th highest in the nation, and projected to double over the next few years, the Circle can expect to continue seeing increases in P.O.P. program applications and enrollments. The increased number of students created a need to find a larger facility that would accommodate our current students and allow for our program to expand as we begin planning for our future. Improving our program and beginning work on our Friends Village supported living project provides our IDD community a better experience and hope for the future.
The Circle has moved from 105 E. Stuart Avenue to 333 Lime Avenue. We are still in Lake Wales approximately 1.5 miles from our old facility. The new building has many features that will foster growth and allow us to expand our resources to include housing, which will fulfill our founder's vision for the Circle. This move was taken in faith. We have been tasked with raising 1.1million dollars in 11 months to complete the purchase of this building and property. We are asking our community members to come along side of us and help raise these funds through giving to our Go Fund Me, assisting with fundraising events, and keeping us in prayer for this monumental task.
The intellectually and developmentally disabled are at a higher risk for housing insecurity because of their disproportionate dependance on others to get daily necessities. When their caregivers can no longer provide care because of age, death, or incapacitation, it places the IDD person at the mercy of circumstance. 45% of homeless people are disabled. Social Security provides less than $1,000.00 per month. Average monthly rent for a 1- bedroom apartment has increased 22% since 2022 at $1,600.00. Those who don't end up on the street are either placed in nursing homes (many between 25-50 years old) or institutions that simply provide food and a bed. The Circle wants to provide an alternative for our IDD community. The purchase of the new building and property provides the land needed to begin our Friends Village Supported Living and Respite Housing. Each duplex will be built with details to enhance everyday life for the residents and occupy no more than 2 residents per home. Residents will have the option to live their life out in their home without fear of eviction. Each resident will continue building on skill development and enjoy life enhancing activities through our P.O.P. Program. Our residents require some assistance with maintaining their daily activities and routines so they will have 24/7 access to a supported living supervisor. Overworked parents can utilize our respite house for their disabled child so they can rest and recoup before resuming constant care of their child.
We are working toward meeting a dire need in our county of a unique-type and affordable housing that will create a stronger more inclusive community. You can be a part of the legacy and help us reach the first step of this goal, which is purchasing the new facility and property.
You can make a difference.
Your involvement and generosity have kept our doors open for over 23 years. You're investment in our programs will ensure that we will be able to serve and enrich more lives over the next twenty-three years.
Together, We Can.
Thank you for believing in our vision. We hope you'll join us on our mission to create a more inclusive and equitable world for all of God's Children.