Pastor Mary Overstreet Smith has found a home for her SJM Autistic Drop-Off Center. It was sitting under her nose all along.
Smith had tried in vain for months to sell the former home of the North By Northeast Community Health Clinic. The building has been empty since August, when the clinic moved to its new location at 3030 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The autistic drop-off center will serve as a place parents or guardians of people with autism can find a few hours of respite when running errands. The nonprofit center will not charge a fee for their supervision services but will accept donations. It is expected to open by the end of October at 4725 N. Williams Ave.
Smith says they will be building several rooms to keep those with autism occupied. There will be a game room and several padded fun rooms.
Smith, who supervises her autistic great-grandson, Sir J. Millage, says parents who have children with autism often need a break from the 24-hour supervision. Whether its going to the grocery store or stopping by the bank, she knows the importance of being able to trust another adult to care for their children who suffer from autism.