Susan's Blog

Monday, August 24, 2009

Making it Happen

If I have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill…
–Scarlett O’Hara, dealing with Turning 22

On Wednesday I’m meeting with a guy Ned and I met at a Turning 22 workshop. He’s got a kid sort of like Nat, and similar values to mine and Ned’s. He knows around 30 other families like us and has a large pool to draw from for creating an 8-client house. He is definitely a few steps ahead of us, in that he has already spoken to several charitable organizations that are involved with housing for the disabled. He also seems to know the Section 8 stuff backwards and forwards (Section 8 is the affordable housing voucher, which a disabled person waits perhaps a decade for, which ultimately allows him to pay a much lower rate for designated affordable housing). I have learned a lot about Turning 22, but some of it still makes my head spin.

Another friend of mine, also with a peer of Nat’s (actually the first kid he had a playdate with) is working on setting up an entire community, a way of life, where you have many choices of activities during the day, as well as access to therapists for S.I., O.T., etc. She has a mission statement and a philosophy, and a location in mind. She has also consulted with organizations for grants. She’s a real powerhouse; always has been. She set up an entire wing of her house for her son to learn, and she had a live-in teacher for him who was also his aide at school. Yes, she’s wealthy but that doesn’t mean it was all easy for her; she’s also dedicated and tireless.

I really admire both of these people. One is working with every aspect of The System; the other is working with all of her personal and professional connections to do it all privately. Both are serious about creating a brilliant future for their children. I am learning a lot from them. I did some frantic figuring the other day, scribbling numbers all over scrap paper (actually, it was the Sunday Times crossword puzzle). I googled some real estate in the urban Boston area, 10 bedroom homes, that kind of thing, to get an idea of cost. I estimated the salaries of two live-in personal care attendants (for eight clients) and real estate taxes to get the mortgage amount, and divided by 8 families. Anyway, it seemed a little bit possible, even without the Section 8, if there was help from a group like Combined Jewish Philanthropies, which sets up housing like what we are looking for (not Jewish-only, by the way; CJP is a fantastic organization that does a ton of remarkable things for the world at large).

My number and this guy’s number were not that far off. My other friend’s numbers, however, are a bit too high for us. At any rate, I am trying to pick up another course to teach, to double my earnings. Ned and I are making plans, looking at savings. We have Max’s college a year from now, and Ben’s in seven. And we also have Nat’s independence is somewhere in between.

It is amazing how quickly all of this is upon us, but I think we can make it work. I have to think that, otherwise how will it happen?


I am having a rough day and your post gave me a chill. A good one, a sense of real hope. Of course, you will make it happen!

— added by A Momma Just Trying to Make it Through the Day on Monday, August 24, 2009 at 9:34 pm

This is so exciting! Can't wait to see this amazing project come to fruition!

— added by BrassyBeads on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 10:37 am

Yes, you will make it happen Susan! I love when a plan starts to come together with people who will make it happen. You are a good mom to Nat (and all your boys).

— added by Penny on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 10:38 am

Awesome! I hope everything works out!

— added by cameramom on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 2:51 pm