Joey’s Place began in 2013, when it was incorporated as a non-stock Corporation in the State of Wisconsin. It began in Waukesha, WI, where there is a great presence of Autistic youth in need of recreational programming and little in the way of such programming available.
How we got the name
The founder named the company, Joey’s Place, after her brother Joey. Joey was an amazing child who because of his disability was taken from us far too early. If he was alive today, he would be able to benefit, and thrive, from a program like this. She not only wanted to honor her loving brother but she also wanted to create a program in which other exceptional youth could benefit and thrive.
Why Southeast Wisconsin
The founder was working in the public schools and noticed the lack of programing that was available for children with Autism. There are so many wonderful programs in the area but there is a major need for programs that cater specifically to youth with Autism. Joey’s Place offers a unique place where the staff is trained and experienced to assist autistic youth, and where one-on-one peer interaction between volunteers and exceptional youth integrates the community in a unique way.
Monique Collins’ article, Local agencies give a voice to those with autism, published by The Marquette Tribune (Sept. 25, 2012) lists a number of programs for autistic youth in the Southeastern Milwaukee Community. Most of those programs are either research or health facilities. Only one of them is an after-school sports and recreation program. However, only 10% of the youth in that program are children with Autism. And, that program does not allow for one-on-one peer-to-peer interaction between volunteers and youth participants of like age. Hence, community integration, knowledge, and acceptance are limited. Therefore, there is a great need for programs like Joey’s Place in Southeast Wisconsin.