While 2020 has not been the year anyone expected, it has brought a lot of joys and successes to Puzzle Pieces. November 15 marks one year in our new facility, which has given us the growth and momentum we dreamed of when we decided to make this big move last year.
“What a year it has been,” said Puzzle Pieces Executive Director Amanda Owen. “It seems like yesterday we toured this building and thought it was all just a dream. But we were meant to be here, it was meant for our journey.”
By moving to our 2401 New Hartford Road location, we were able to bring all of our divisions under one roof. This not only brought a synergy we had not seen in our Frederica Street building, but it also gave us the motivation to continue to build and grow. We have launched the Owen Autism Center, which offers the region’s only targeted autism programming and we will soon open our Early Intervention Program for children 18 months and older, with and without a disability.
The new facility has allowed us to reduce our waiting list and serve more clients. We are able to provide all clients with more space for programming and additional sensory rooms, which have proven to reduce client behaviors.
“It’s crazy how a building can project you forward, but that is exactly what this campus has done for us,” Amanda said.
Although COVID-19 has halted some of that progress, Puzzle Pieces Board Co-Chair Amy Jackson said that we would not have been able to sustain our nonprofit without our new facility.
“Without the leap of faith we took in 2019 to secure a larger facility to fit our growth plans, we would not have been prepared for COVID-19 and be able to provide a safe environment for our clients once in-person services resumed,” Amy said. “That leap of faith and vision for future growth ended up being a blessing in a pandemic. We never could have imagined the need for social distancing and more, but our new location afforded us the ability to safely care for our clients and continue to pursue our growth plans with the Owen Autism Center amid a pandemic.”
While today is a day worth celebrating, we are more excited to look toward the future. We are planning multiple fundraisers to help support client care into the next year. We are implementing grant funding that we secured from generous local donors. We will install the nation’s first outdoor sensory museum on our campus, which will help promote the health and well-being of our clients. Year two in our new building will see more growth, more clients served and bigger goals achieved. Thank you to the greater Owensboro community who supported us eight years ago when we opened Puzzle Pieces and who continue to support us today.