Community services

Breaking down barriers: Sherwood community services create hope

People with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty than others – a frightening thought for parents who have just found out that 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 that 25.9% of people with disabilities lived in poverty, while only 11.4% of people without disabilities lived in poverty in the United States.

Each year, more than 1,500 babies are born in our service area with disabilities or developmental delays. Hearing that your young child is late can be devastating for families and we are here to provide essential services to young children to help them move towards independence.

“For a parent with a child living with a disability this can be scary,” says Lance Morehouse, CEO of Sherwood Community Services. “Not knowing what the future holds can be frightening.”

At Sherwood Community Services, the mission is to allay concerns and support families seeking much-needed treatment and resources.

“The look on parents’ faces when their child says his first word or takes his first step. When we tell them that their teenager or young adult can work if they want to, it is priceless, ”says Morehouse. And he knows that feeling, having navigated the available systems – 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 service,” says Morehouse. “Navigating these services can be difficult, and Sherwood provides much needed advice and coordination. “

Sherwood strives to create an inclusive society where children and adults with disabilities can live full, independent lives and be full members of the community.

Sherwood Community Services advocates for the rights of children, adults and families by addressing issues that create barriers. From community acceptance and respectful language to advocacy with policy makers of life-changing services, they are committed to meeting the needs of individuals and families.

“Every child deserves a fair start in life. Every adult deserves an equal start when they start working, ”says Morehouse. Through community partners like Coastal Community Bank and many others, Sherwood strives to remove as many barriers as possible to accessing services, including financial ones.

“When a young adult moves from school to the workforce, the question ‘what comes next? “The issue may be more complicated for people with disabilities,” explains Morehouse. “By breaking down barriers and believing in a person’s abilities rather than their disabilities, we can help them find a good start in employment.

At Sherwood, they pride themselves on helping children grow and finding the right fit for people with disabilities and the employer.

“We’re usually the first people to tell a parent that their child can work,” he says.

IE link: sherwoodcs.org/early-intervention

Professional link: sherwoodcs.org/vocational-services

To find out how you can make a difference, visit: Donation page (ejoinme.org)