Davidson says Adaptive Recreation was her saving grace because it provided a place for her son to be while she could work.
“I couldn’t have worked without it,” said Davidson.
The program was cut since it could not run during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The participants are just lost; they don’t have anything to do,” said Davidson.
Mayor Anthony Williams said the council wanted to find alternative solutions.
“I think explicitly we communicated if we couldn’t find someone to take it over, we would absorb the cost,” said Williams.
CEO of Betty Hardwick Center, Jenny Goode, heard that the city was looking for an organization to take it over.
“It was an easy yes, it was something we really wanted to do,” said Goode.
The center wanted to carefully consider the financial aspects to make sure the program was fiscally viable to achieve longevity.
“That was the main concern, we know people rely upon it, so it’s important to be a steady partner, it needed to be a good plan,” said Goode.
The Center is looking to use the current Adaptive Rec building, and partner with the city to maintain the building.
“We have a similar program, it’s smaller though, it’s over on cypress street, and we recognized right away that it wouldn’t be possible for us to run both of those but that if we could combine them together, that we make that work,” said Goode.
So, the two programs would join forces and join Special Olympic teams.
“Ah that sounds good, I am so happy,” said Davidson.
“I commend Robert Hanna, city manager, Leslie Andrews, director of community services, and Betty Hardwick for having this conversation, so I am excited about it, and hopefully we can bring it home,” said Mayor Williams.
Nothing has been decided yet, but it should come before council in May.
If the partnership with the city is approved, Betty Hardwick Center plans to work towards an end of summer start date and would look for community volunteers to donate their time, or activities for the participants.
Adaptive Rec participants would not be required to also be a Betty Hardwick center patient.