A community of differently-abled farmers located in Greene County, Ohio
Planting seeds of opportunity; growing independence SM
Planting seeds of opportunity; growing independence
"I have found my people."-Sean (Good Works Farm camper)
Our mission is to provide individuals with developmental disabilities the support they need to maximize their growth and independence, achieve their goals, and facilitate their integration into the greater community.
Our vision is to be a person-centered, integrated, sustainable community where individual choice is respected, community involvement is encouraged, and independence is fostered.
At Good Works Farm, we understand that one size does not fit all. Not everyone is ABLE to live independently and work in the greater community, or WANTS to. And even those who WANT to, find barriers such as lack of transportation, lack of jobs and job coaches, and a lack of appropriate housing. We also understand that, in an effort to prevent segregation and isolation, the Federal Government is pushing for full integration. While we understand the reasoning behind the rules is to give individuals with disabilities the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers, in many cases, it is limiting their choices. For some, living and working in the greater community is possible. For the majority, it is not. The reasons are many and include the inability to function independently, safety, lack of skills, and lack of appropriate supports. All too common is the individual living in a group home (or with family), embedded within a community they cannot access, isolated from others like themselves they wish to connect with, and without meaning to their lives. They have limited or no choice of where they live or with whom. They have the illusion of choice but not the reality, and as a result, their quality of life is greatly diminished. As the rules are implemented, many will fall through the cracks, and unfortunately, it will be the ones who need the most supports.
While we would prefer to provide ALL our services in a farmstead, or intentional community, model on one large plot of land where participants are free to roam safely and independently, living and working surrounded by nature, and have freedom of choice of activity, we are stymied by the federal rules. Although when asked, 1/3 of individuals would choose to live in a farmstead, or planned, community, the option is being removed as the government sees farmsteads as segregated and isolating. Therefore, we have been forced to consider how we can best serve the population that CAN'T or WON'T work and live independently while still following the rules set forth by CMS. By limiting farmsteads, they are limiting choice. And as the number of individuals needing services grows, choice is exactly what we should be expanding. As we roll out our services, we will be looking at how we can best support a community of disabled and non-disabled persons in the most integrated and sustainable setting, while still maintaining individual safety, promoting independence and choice, and providing opportunities for meaningful and productive activities that will result in a happy, safe, meaningful, and productive life, mutually beneficial for all.