It seems there is no challenge too large for a mother’s passion. Betsy Farmer founded the Space Coast Early Intervention Center when she faced limited educational choices for her son, Luke, who has Down syndrome. Then, when she realized the same lack of opportunities when it came to Luke’s career path, Farmer formed the Brevard Business Leadership Network (BLN). BLN assists young adults like Luke, helping them learn specific job skills inside business environments like Symetrics, Buena Vida and WFIT. Recently, Farmer once again faced another challenge when she realized that Luke didn’t have the opportunity to live independently, like other young adults his age. That’s when she realized the vision of Promise in Brevard.
Promise in Brevard will be a housing campus for adults with disabilities that’s part assisted living community, part college dorm and part resort. Young adults with special needs can lead a fun-filled life, with career and social opportunities. The concept for Promise has been developed with the help of a special group of young individuals, that Betsy calls “The Dream Team.” From the amenities to the floor plans, this team of future residents has worked closely with Betsy and the designers, sharing their thoughts about everything.
“Residents will have activities, live with friends and have the support of staff 24/7,” Farmer said. “They will have amazing freedom to pick and choose what they want to do.”
For Farmer, the project is as much about the future as it is about the families. “The families need peace of mind. Parents (of special needs children) are scared of what will happen when they die.”
Part of Promise’s vision is to have all residents working either in the community or at Promise, to obtain work skills that can then be used to obtain employment in the outside community if desired. The campus will also include a restaurant, bakery and café that will be open to the public and she’s hoping an organic garden will provide the ingredients for the restaurant so the community can be self-sustaining.
Currently Farmer is in the process of obtaining the ten acres of land needed for the project, raising funds and applying for grants. Already, community businesses have stepped up to host events to raise money for Promise.
At times, it can seem a daunting task but Farmer’s energy does not waver, “My whole life has been in preparation for this project,” she said.
Planned amenities on the campus include:
- accessible pool and Jacuzzi
- accessible putt-putt golf course
- an onsite store
- culinary arts program
- coffee shop
- organic green house
- computer lab
- hair/nail salon
- arts and crafts room
- video/theater room
- video production program
For more information contact: