HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Patterson Place is a non-profit organization in Huntsville aimed at giving adults with special needs a purpose.
Many adults with disabilities age out of the school system at 21. After that, there are not a lot of places for them to go.
Patterson Place looks to change that.
Here, they focus on the skills these adults already possess and find ways Patterson can provide opportunities of work.
“We do a lot of different work enterprises so far. One of our big ones is dog treats. In regards to skills, it’s a lot of hand-on-hand skills so a lot of kneading of the dough, mixing, whisking the dough as well, measuring out things for the dog treats as well, like being able to know the difference between one-fourth cup and one cup…We also do jewelry which is really good for motor skills so being able to pick up something small and put it on a string,” said Emma Clark, founder and executive director of Patterson Place.
Clark was inspired to start this organization by her brother Robbie. “We grew up very close,” she said, “As I got older I started to realize what’s going to happen to Robbie after high school?”
“That’s kind of when I came up with this crazy idea where why don’t we come up with this community where they can work and live,” she added.
At Patterson Place, they are not just adults with special needs; they are much more – they’re citizens.
“We are part of a replication program of a group at Texas, and they are the ones that started the word ‘citizen’ but the reason we use citizen is because a citizen contributes to a community,” Clark said.
Patterson Place is a private pay organization, but they do raise money through various fundraisers and donations. All of the jewelry, candles, dog treats and other enterprises that they make are sold as well.