Episode 83 features Entrepreneur and Founder of Making Authentic Friendships, Juliana Fetherman. Making Authentic Friendships is a responsive web-based application that helps individuals with special needs (age 13+) find friends at home or on the go, based on their geolocation, diagnosis, age, and interests. We talk with Juliana about the high and lows of creating this business and some of the thoughtfulness that needed to go into the business strategy, development, etc.
I am 23 years old and have a 21-year-old brother with ADHD and Autism. His name is Michael. Making Authentic Friendships (MAF) is also my brother’s initials. He inspired this initiative. He is very lonely due to his lack of social skills and the ability to make friends.
I just recently finished my MBA at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, but reside on Long Island. I am passionate about bettering the lives of those with autism and other special needs and plan to dedicate my entire life to doing so.
EPISODE 74: Housing Options for People with Exceptionalities
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Episode 74 is a special one because it’s really at the intersection of what this podcast is truly about. People going outside of their comfort zone and doing things that matter to them and make them fulfilled as well as doing good in this world and trying to make an impact in a positive way. I had the chance to speak with two of the founding members of H.O.P.E (Housing Options for People with Exceptionalities), Dotty Foley and Orah Raia, and learn about their story and the “Why” behind this great mission.
HOPE’s vision is to create an inclusive, mixed income community where all individuals, including those with developmental disabilities, can live meaningful and purposeful lives. The vision for this community was born from the belief that where we live matters, that all people should have the choice to live in a community of their choosing, with access to affordable housing.
HOPE’s mission, interest and commitment is to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by addressing the urgent and unmet need for affordable, accessible housing.
Creating an inclusive, supportive housing solution for individuals with disabilities must begin at the local level and requires creative strategies that combine public and private financing.
HOPE will achieve its mission by intentionally engaging neighbors of all abilities, ages, and incomes to create a supportive community. We are bringing together a diverse coalition of stakeholders, advocates and partners to adapt an innovative, award-winning housing model that’s already being successfully employed in supportive housing developments around the country with different vulnerable populations.