What Does Hero Mean?
Heroes are the people who strive every day, despite disability, to be successful, valuable members of our community. Heroes are the ordinary people who have chosen to support those who need assistance to be a part of our community. Heroes are the families who hope for their child’s future and commit their lives to assuring a life of possibilities. Heroes are community members who embrace the belief that everything is possible for people. Across the lifespan, SPIN has created and implemented opportunities for people to live a life of possibilities one day at a time as each person realizes their personal and professional outcomes through an everyday life in the community.
Special People in Northeast, Inc. (SPIN) was founded in 1970 by a group of families who wanted their children to have a summer camp experience that would not only meet their specific needs, but would allow these children the recreational activity they would have otherwise missed. Forty six years later, SPIN is dedicated to the mission of providing the highest quality people-first services and support for children and adults with intellectual, developmental, and autism spectrum disabilities so that each may achieve and enjoy a life of possibilities. Today, the organization supports more than 3,500 infants, children, and adults in the Philadelphia area. Find out more at http://spininc.org/.
The story of Jonathan, Michael and Anthony clearly demonstrates SPIN’s commitment to supporting people to live a life of possibilities. These three young men met as children and traveled through their years enjoying each other’s company, learning and growing. Their parents also became friends and offered support to each other through good times and bad. The three men had been receiving support and services from SPIN since they were children. About two years ago, these families approached SPIN to discuss the possibility of Jonathan, Mike and Anthony living together in a SPIN community living arrangement. They were helping each man develop skills, at home, to reach this goal. After many meetings, hard work, expressions of fears, tears and laughter the guys were ready. A perfect home was located and renovated for their specific needs and it happened.
In July 2015, these three men moved to Jackson Street in a Northeast community. It is truly a home with friends and families always welcome. On Labor Day 2015 they held a picnic where they gathered with SPIN team members, extended family and longtime friends. This was a celebration of their achievement towards independence and the true labor of love it took to make this dream a reality. As one mom said, the cookout made the guys truly feel that now, Jackson Street, is their home. They know that family and friends will be a big part of their life in their new house. We truly feel lucky and blessed. This story represents the SPIN definition of hero; three young men working hard to defeat the disability label, families challenging them to learn and grow, and neighbors welcoming them to the Torresdale community.