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Promise in Brevard, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was established in 2009 as a way to provide a much-needed housing opportunity for young adults with special needs to have a sense of independence long yearned for, while simultaneously living, working and thriving in their community. Promise residents will have an inclusive, safe and fun place to live, amongst neighbors who care. Promise will offer vocational training and employment opportunities with on-site training and continuing education.
The vision for Promise was brought to life by way of Promise in Brevard co-founders Betsy Farmer and her son, Luke, 31, who has Down syndrome. When Luke was born in 1985, Betsy found that there were limited resources and support for children with special needs throughout the Space Coast area, so she established the Space Coast Early Intervention Center in 1987, a preschool here kids with special needs and those without learned and thrived from one another. As a result of Luke’s success at the preschool, he became the first child in Brevard County to be enrolled in the mainstream public schools system. From there, Betsy went on to establish another nonprofit, the Brevard Business Leadership Network, which bridged the gap between local businesses and high school graduates with special needs to help them find jobs and gain workforce skills. After speaking with other families of young adults with special needs, it soon became evident that many shared the same fear: "What will happen to my child with special needs when I am no longer able to care for him/her?" Before long, Betsy and Luke dreamed even bigger and worked hand-in-hand with the community to bring the vision for Promise to life. For the past 12 years, this team has worked diligently to create a model community where these amazing individuals can spend the rest of their lives, all while having a paycheck and a purpose.