Construction begins on Advo’s Hope Village, building opportunities for special needs individuals
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - In a step toward greater inclusivity and support for individuals with special needs, construction has officially started on Advo’s Hope Village.
Advo says this is more than a project, but a beacon of hope for a community that often faces limited opportunities.
Hope Village will be located on Washington Street and will be a transitional employment center.
“We are going to have five shops: a deli, an ice cream parlor, a coffee and tea shop, a t-shirt embroidery and print screen shop, which is open, threads of inclusion, a custom framing shop and more importantly, a day care center for the community,” said Jeremy Bradford, vice president, Hope to Opportunities Foundation.
Individuals will undergo six weeks of on-the-job training within these shops, providing them with valuable skills and experience.
“They can go to the outside workforce and get a job there and be a productive citizen of Amarillo,” said Bradford.
Advo says this will also show employers how those with special needs work.
“I think sometimes, employers are a little bit nervous about what can they do? What accommodations do I have to provide with them? But seeing them actually working, they’re gonna know that them being an employee is just like anybody else being an employee,” said Carla Hughes, CEO, Advo Companies.
Hughes says Hope Village comes at a crucial time for Amarillo, as Texas ranks second to last in the nation for providing services to special needs populations.
She says so many individuals with special needs sit at home with nothing to do because there are no opportunities.
“I don’t think people realize that when they graduate from high school opportunities dry up for them and we need to give them opportunities. They deserve it, they want it, it’s a rite of passage for them and so this is going to give them that,” said Hughes.
While construction has officially begun, Advo says that there is still a long way to go.
Bradford says $2 million is still needed for phase two, which is the finish out of the shops, to donate click here.
The shops of Hope Village are expected to open to the public in November of 2024.
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