Special Ever After began as a dream for creating a home and a community for those with special needs who will need care and supervision into adulthood. The plan was to build this community around a resort tailored to those with physical, intellectual, or emotional disabilities. The resort would be a haven for families who often find travel difficult, and a relaxing vacation unimaginable. It would provide supervised care for those who need it, as well as all kinds of activities from equine therapy to swimming, art, music, and plenty of space for quiet alone time. The resort would also produce the income needed to maintain the special home and community activities for its residents.
The events of 2020 changed this dream. While I do still plan to create this resort at some point in the future, building a new business that depends on families doing a lot of traveling is a much shakier proposition now than it was in 2019.
However, the need for long-term living support, and for real community, for those with special needs, has only become more urgent.
Other needs have also become more urgent, including the need for schools that do not demand that their students wear face masks, or "socially distance" from each other. And families who do not choose to have their lives ruled by fear of Covid-19 find themselves in need of community and of services such as education, healthcare, and elder care, that until just over a year ago they thought they could rely on.
My plan now is to create a school and community center for both typical children and those with special needs. Ultimately, this center will grow into the living center that I had originally envisioned, including the resort. And the bigger dream now is to bring in other entrepreneurs in areas such as healthcare, elder care, etc., and to build a larger community around these services – all of which will be provided either on a commercial basis, through charity, or mutual aid, but with no involvement or funding from any government entities.
Government responses to Covid-19 have put even more pressure on vulnerable populations around the country and the world. Here in the US, thousands of small businesses have been devastated by the lockdowns, unemployment has still not returned to pre-2020 levels, and social isolation is taking a toll on the health and psychological well-being of people across the country–including children. There is an urgent need for people to come together and rebuild for ourselves the foundations of society that have been assaulted by these authoritarian responses. Special Ever After aims to be an important part of that rebuilding.