People living with a disability are more likely to live in poverty than those who do not – a scary thought to parents who have just been told their son or daughter has a disability.
It is easy to see the direct correlation between living with a disability and poverty. In 2019, Statista reported 25.9 percent of people with disabilities were living in poverty, while just 11.4 percent of people without disabilities were living in poverty in the United States.
Over 1500 babies are born within our service area each year with developmental disabilities or delays. Hearing that your young child has a delay can be devastating to families and we are there to provide critical services to young children to help them make progress toward independance.
“To a parent with a child living with a disability, it can be frightening,” says Lance Morehouse, CEO of Sherwood Community Services. “Not knowing what the future holds can be scary.”
At Sherwood Community Services, the mission is to ease concerns and support families looking for much-needed resources and treatments.
“The look on parents’ faces when their child says their first word or takes their first step. When we tell them their teen or young adult can work if they want to is priceless,” says Morehouse. And he knows the feeling, having navigated the systems available – or lack thereof – after his son was left disabled following a tragic near-drowning accident.
“Many of us at Sherwood have lived experience, and we understand the need for support and services,” says Morehouse. “Navigating those services can be difficult, and Sherwood provides guidance and much-needed coordination.”
Sherwood strives to create an inclusive society where children and adults with disabilities can live whole, independent lives and be full, contributing community members.
Sherwood Community Services advocates for children, adults, and families by navigating the issues that create barriers. From community acceptance and respectful language to advocating with policymakers for services that are lifechanging, they are committed to meeting the needs of individuals and families.
“Every child deserves an equitable start in life. Every adult deserves an equal start when entering employment,” says Morehouse. Thanks to its Community partners like Coastal Community Bank and many others, Sherwood strives to remove as many barriers to accessing services as possible, including financial ones.
“When a young adult is transitioning from school to the workforce, the ‘what comes next?’ question can be more complicated for those with disabilities,” says Morehouse. “By removing barriers and believing in an individual’s abilities rather than disabilities, we can help them find a meaningful start to employment.”
At Sherwood, they pride themselves on helping children make progress and finding the right fit for individuals with disabilities and the employer.
“We are usually the first people that tell the parent that their child can work,” he says.
EI link: sherwoodcs.org/early-intervention
Vocational Link: sherwoodcs.org/vocational-services
To find out how you can make a difference, visit: Donation Page (ejoinme.org)