The Hali Project is a project named after one of Southwest’s members – Hali Thompson – that serves individuals with special needs, their families, and people who are trying to serve them. The Project is led by Hali’s parents – Brad & Karen Thompson. As you read about the programs below, if you feel like any of them could help you please contact us. All of these services are provided by Southwest and are free to families.
Married December 27, 1986, Brad & Karen have spent all of their adult lives working with families. In November 1999, they started The HALI Project—named after their daughter with special needs—to address some of the challenges that these families face.
From their personal experience and the experience of working with 1000’s of families and service providers across the country, Brad & Karen have designed programs specifically for couples who have children with special needs and the community members who are trying to serve them. Their goal is to provide rest, refreshment, and insight for couples who face many complex challenges.
This class is designed to serve adults with special needs by providing them a community of faith. The group meets every Wednesday night at the Southwest Church of Christ at 7 pm in the Hali Project wing. Those who attend the class also receive invitations to social gatherings which occur two Thursday nights each month – one being a pizza and game night and the other being a movie night.
Karen is the leader of this class and coordinates its activities. We receive great volunteer help from Hank Northcutt, Ben Urbanczyk, and Steve Eldridge. These men take turns teaching the class and involving class members in that process.
This class began in 2003 with two members. As of this writing, we regularly host over 50 adults with special needs along with their helpers, and they range in age from 19 to 46. If you know a person that would benefit from the community and friendship this class can provide, give us a call or come visit us some Wednesday night.
Community Voices is a counseling, education, and team-building program designed to help families who have children with special needs come to terms with their situation, learn to understand and manage their emotions, and then learn skills and laws that will help them be positive advocates for their children. Through this training, we also bring these families together with other people in the community who are committed to helping them with their children. These relationships give our families a true community in which to raise their children.
During this one-day training, we focus on the following areas:
One of the goals of “Community Voices” is to help parents feel confident and competent in representing their child, regardless of the situation. We teach, train, and encourage parents to be the coach of their child’s team because we are the one constant in their lives. At the same time, it is important that we build a team because there are many people in our communities that have a heart for our kids and expertise in areas that parents don’t have.
The ultimate outcome of “Community Voices” is that participants see the value of creating teams that help people with special needs reach their potential. When that happens, we are all truly blessed.
This two-day training builds on some of the concepts of Community Voices to train parent and service providers to work together to improve the quality of serves our kids receive in the medical and educational environments. Over four sessions, parents and professionals get the opportunity to gain some understanding of what life is like for the other guy, and learn how to work together to create a better life for our families and more efficient and effective practices for our doctors and schools.
The training includes conversations about:
These teams free each member to do what he/she does best. When this happens, quality of life improves for everyone involved.
Statistics tell us that couples who have children special needs face tremendous challenges when comes to keeping their marriages healthy. With that in mind, we also recognize that there are few supports specifically designed to work with couples who have children with special needs. We have a unique set of qualifications for this work, with more than 20 years of experience in three areas:
This retreat is a weekend experience that gives couples an opportunity to rest (a rare commodity for our families), learn, and gain a fresh perspective on their relationship while we attempt to pamper them a little in a retreat setting. Beginning in February 2011, Brad and Karen will host the teaching and meal times in their outside of Canyon, Texas which they have renovated with these retreats in mind.
The teaching components of the retreat focus on four areas:
Time is also made available during the retreat for couples to spend time with Brad and Karen in a personal, private setting if they feel the need. We experience the challenges of trying to maintain a healthy marriage while facing the challenges of raising a child with special needs. We want to share the lessons we have learned with others.
* The HALI Project is its own 501 (c) 3 corporation, but works with the support and under the guidance of the leadership team at the Southwest Church of Christ.