Brookwood Community is a community in Brookshire, Texas, which is organized around meeting the needs of special-needs adults. The campus consists of eight group homes, two staff homes, a residential Inn, health and dental clinics, greenhouses, a restaurant, a gift shop, and several support buildings. The community provides rehabilitation therapy to adults with disabilities, but also provides several other benefits. They have 110 resident adults and another 80 adults who participate in the day program. They help people with a wide range of disabilities: autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, aging care needs, and those with a dual diagnosis. The facility is located at 1752 FM 1489, Brookshire, Texas, 77423. The main phone number is [HIDDEN] . The URL is BrookwoodCommunity.org.
The Mission Statement of Brookwood Community is to provide opportunities through education, which allows Brookwood citizens to: acquire meaningful job skills and hold real jobs in the Brookwood Community's business enterprises; experience pride that comes through contributing to self-support; and encourage social, emotional, and spiritual growth. Brookwood's founder Yvonne Tuttle Streit created the program that would eventually become Brookwood after her daughter, Vicki Streit, suffered complications from mumps when she was a year old. The complications left Vicki with brain damage and Yvonne was faced with the reality that there were no adequate organizations, at the time, aimed at helping special needs children. Moreover, though the Streits went to specialists to learn about life skills training, the Houston area school districts were not interested in incorporating those skills into their programs. Yvonne began homeschooling Vicki, eventually forming a learning group in her backyard. The learning group eventually transformed to Briarwood, a school aimed at helping children with special needs. However, because there are oftentimes limited opportunities for people with special needs in the broader community, Yvonne determined that a residential facility that would provide residents with an opportunity to work would meet residential and self-care needs.
Brookwood Community is a private facility. It is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization. In However, unlike some non-profits, Brookwood does not rely on any government grants. It receives all of its operating expenses through tuition, private sector donations, and sales. Moreover, it interacts heavily with the community. Everything at the facility has been donated, including buildings, furnishings, equipment, and vehicles. Furthermore, there is significant community involvement with the program. Many civic groups, individuals, and foundations work with Brookwood to help facilitate day-to-day functioning. As a result, it is fair to say that the community is one of the primary stakeholders of Brookwood Community; Brookwood provides a location for special needs individuals who may not have their needs met in the general community and the community benefits from this service. Residents and their families are also stakeholders, as the success of Brookwood can help determine the success of family units and the ability for some residents to live in semi-independent non-family settings. The Board of Directors is another stakeholder. The Board of Directors is composed of a mixture of Brookwood employees and members of the private sector. The Chairman of the Board is Stephen Beasley, the Vice-Chairman of the Board is David Streit, and the Treasurer is Michael Brady. Non-executive board members are: Barbara Bellatti, Michael Hall, Dea Larson, Peggy McGaughy, John Scales, Vivian Shudde (the Executive Director of Briarwood and Brookwood), Yvonne Streit (founder and Executive Director Emeritus), J. Scott Thompson, Brad Tucker, and Thomas H. Wilson.
As a whole, Brookwood is not accredited as an organization. However, its physical therapy is administered through a licensed physical therapy association. The on-site physical therapy site is the Dr. John Milligan Memorial Physical Therapy Center. The Physical Therapy Center is staffed by occupational and physical therapists from 1st Texas Home Health, a licensed physical therapy organization through the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners. The physical therapists help citizens who have physical challenges in addition to or related to their disabilities. This physical therapy can involve stretching, strength training, assistance with standing, and assistance with walking. In addition, physical therapy can target whole body fitness. Furthermore, the on-site medical and dental facilities utilize doctors that are licensed through the state of Texas for their appropriate disciplines through the Texas Medical Board.
The first person interviewed was Sarah, who works in an administrative capacity in the admissions department of Brookwood. Her email address is -- and her phone number is [HIDDEN] . The second person interviewed was Elisa, who is in charge of coordinating and giving tours of the Brookwood facility. Her email address is -- and her phone number is [HIDDEN] . While both of the interview subjects work at the same organization, they work in very different capacities, and offered different perspectives about the strengths and weaknesses of the organization.
Sarah is in charge of admissions at Brookwood. As such, she is the initial liaison between Brookwood and residents and their families. She takes potential residents and adult workers through the admissions process. The process begins with an in-depth tour of the facility. The tour serves two purposes: first, it provides insight into the history of the community and, second, it provides potential residents and their families the opportunity to see all of the facilities. This gives them an opportunity to see the range of jobs available at the community, how residents are treated at the facility, and the living facilities. The next step in the process is for the resident (or the resident's family) to fill out an application. The application process is a rigorous one; in addition to considering whether Brookwood is appropriate for each individual, Sarah also has to examine whether each individual would fit into the Brookwood environment. While she is responsible for the initial application phase, Sarah does not make final application decisions. Instead, the applications are reviewed by the Board of Directors. If an applicant seems as if he or she will be appropriate for the community, the next step is an interview process. Because of the needs of the members of the community, these interviews include the resident and family members and are focused on examining the long-term and short-term goals of each applicant. After the interview, there are three possible outcomes: a request for further evaluation, a response that a candidate is not acceptable at this time, or acceptance of an applicant on a probationary basis. All new residents are accepted on a probationary basis.
Sarah believes that Brookwood's most valuable service is that it provides long-term housing and living options for people with special needs. For many parents of children with special-needs, the overwhelming concern is figuring out placement options for their children after the death of the parents. In some instances, siblings are unable to care for the person with special needs, and the lack of available family members can leave many adults with special needs in vulnerable positions as they age. Brookwood can provide long-term living arrangements, so that parents or siblings know that their relative can live in safety and security, interacting with the community.
Elisa works in a support capacity, rather than an administrative capacity. She is responsible for providing tours of the facility to people. In many instances, she is one of the first real contacts that potential residents and their families have with the Brookwood Community. She takes potential residents on tours of the entire facility. Part of Brookwood is open by general access to the facility. This includes the cafe, a gift shop, and a small nursery. However, a huge part of the community is not open to unlimited public access. For example, the nursery sells plants grown by residents, but not all visitors can access the greenhouses where the residents work at all times. Instead, perhaps even more significant, she is frequently the person who introduces community members to the people…