Guest Interviews — 6 Minutes

Oak Tree Farm! (Part 3)

Guest Interviews — 6 Minutes

Oak Tree Farm! (Part 3)

Oak Tree Farm will be an affordable housing community designed for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. The community will include access to transportation, life skills training, an amenities center, a swimming pool, on-site laundry facilities, and more. Oak Tree Farm is a project of SOS Care and SOS Care CEO Sarah Pope joins us today to tell us about this exciting venture.

Dr. Gwynette: Welcome back for part three of our interview with Oak Tree Farm, where David has our next question.

David: What about autistics who are needing help with tiny houses, like are planning to buy a tiny house that are not on the land, you know?

Sarah Pope: Yeah, well, I think that’s a great option for some people. Actually, in our area, we have a couple neighborhoods now that they just built with tiny houses and people really seem to like that at the moment, so I think that’s a great option for people if they want to rent or buy a tiny house.

It’s very expensive to buy a house, so you have to have a very good plan of how you’re going to save for a down payment and how you’re going to work enough hours to be able to pay for a mortgage. It’s a lot of planning, isn’t it?

Dr. Gwynette: Yes, housing requires significant planning and we are going to switch now to a new question about driver’s licenses. Here’s a question from Scott.

Scott: Will some of the Oak Tree Farm residents have their license, and would parking be available?

Sarah Pope: Yes, we have made sure that we have plenty of parking spaces. Out of the first few in the group then I know, I think we might have four or five people that actually have their license. In the first house, where Lee is going to be living, one of the guys has a driver’s license. He drives to work every day. But many of our people use public transportation. We were actually trying to figure out if there was a way for us to help with some driver’s ed classes once we get to Oak Tree Farm, because we will have our own roads in the neighborhood, and so we were thinking about getting a golf cart where we could start teaching people how to drive around just in our community, because a lot of people have anxiety about driving and getting their license.

Dr. Gwynette: Thank you, Scott. And our next question comes from Christina.

Christina: What do you think about the Autism News Network?

Sarah Pope: I think it’s such an amazing idea. I love that you all have found something that brings you together, that you can work on as a team, because it’s such good training for you for working with another team and a job sometime. It’s nice that you have this common interest of something together that you can work on and it gives you so much opportunity to practice your social skills and to talk to new people you haven’t met before. So I think it’s wonderful, I love it.

Dr. Gwynette: And for our audience, you’ve been listening to an interview with Ms. Sarah Pope, who is the CEO of SOS Care out of Myrtle Beach and also the director of Oak Tree Farm. You know, I’m reminded right now just about a quote from Dr. Peter Gerhardt, who is one of the leading researchers in the field. He said, “Everything good that ever happened in the world of autism happened because of a parent,” and I think that’s what’s happening here.

Ms. Pope is an innovator. You’ve heard about Oak Tree Farm, also, we heard about this new dating program, which was inspired by a TV show. That’s going to make a real impact for the community here in South Carolina. I’ll tell you one thing, Ms. Pope, when you have Oak Tree Farm up and running, do you think we could do a visit and do some filming there?

Sarah Pope: Yes, I think, right? Lee, you should probably invite your friends to the open house that we’re going to have in October. We’re working on a date. Wouldn’t it be great if you could all come? We’ll be working with the media and we’ll be doing a lot of publicity around that opening, so we would love to have you come.

Dr. Gwynette: Lee, we’ll all stay at your house, okay?

Lee: Yeah, okay.

Sarah Pope: I love it. First house party at Lee’s place, right?

Lee: Heck, yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: If you’re watching this or listening to it, we want to direct you to the website for SOS Care. It’s soscaresc.org. You’ll learn about SOS Care and there’s a tab there for Oak Tree Farm, where you can see information about Oak Tree Farm. Most importantly, if you want to support and donate to the mission of Oak Tree Farm, click that button. Then also, if you want to advocate for this worthy project, reach out to SOS Care. This is clearly just something that is incredibly valuable to the South Carolina community. We’re very grateful, Ms. Pope, for your time today and we hope that you’ll join us again on the show soon.

Sarah Pope: I would love to, now I have new friends. Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed meeting all of you and I’ll be excited to hear about what’s happening with some of you, with your tiny house and weddings and dogs and moving and all of the other things that you have going on in your life. So yes, please stay in touch.

Dr. Gwynette: That sounds great. Well, for now, we thank our audience for joining us. You’ve been listening or watching the Autism News Network. Have a great day.

Dr. Gwynette: Welcome back for part three of our interview with Oak Tree Farm, where David has our next question.

David: What about autistics who are needing help with tiny houses, like are planning to buy a tiny house that are not on the land, you know?

Sarah Pope: Yeah, well, I think that’s a great option for some people. Actually, in our area, we have a couple neighborhoods now that they just built with tiny houses and people really seem to like that at the moment, so I think that’s a great option for people if they want to rent or buy a tiny house.

It’s very expensive to buy a house, so you have to have a very good plan of how you’re going to save for a down payment and how you’re going to work enough hours to be able to pay for a mortgage. It’s a lot of planning, isn’t it?

Dr. Gwynette: Yes, housing requires significant planning and we are going to switch now to a new question about driver’s licenses. Here’s a question from Scott.

Scott: Will some of the Oak Tree Farm residents have their license, and would parking be available?

Sarah Pope: Yes, we have made sure that we have plenty of parking spaces. Out of the first few in the group then I know, I think we might have four or five people that actually have their license. In the first house, where Lee is going to be living, one of the guys has a driver’s license. He drives to work every day. But many of our people use public transportation. We were actually trying to figure out if there was a way for us to help with some driver’s ed classes once we get to Oak Tree Farm, because we will have our own roads in the neighborhood, and so we were thinking about getting a golf cart where we could start teaching people how to drive around just in our community, because a lot of people have anxiety about driving and getting their license.

Dr. Gwynette: Thank you, Scott. And our next question comes from Christina.

Christina: What do you think about the Autism News Network?

Sarah Pope: I think it’s such an amazing idea. I love that you all have found something that brings you together, that you can work on as a team, because it’s such good training for you for working with another team and a job sometime. It’s nice that you have this common interest of something together that you can work on and it gives you so much opportunity to practice your social skills and to talk to new people you haven’t met before. So I think it’s wonderful, I love it.

Dr. Gwynette: And for our audience, you’ve been listening to an interview with Ms. Sarah Pope, who is the CEO of SOS Care out of Myrtle Beach and also the director of Oak Tree Farm. You know, I’m reminded right now just about a quote from Dr. Peter Gerhardt, who is one of the leading researchers in the field. He said, “Everything good that ever happened in the world of autism happened because of a parent,” and I think that’s what’s happening here.

Ms. Pope is an innovator. You’ve heard about Oak Tree Farm, also, we heard about this new dating program, which was inspired by a TV show. That’s going to make a real impact for the community here in South Carolina. I’ll tell you one thing, Ms. Pope, when you have Oak Tree Farm up and running, do you think we could do a visit and do some filming there?

Sarah Pope: Yes, I think, right? Lee, you should probably invite your friends to the open house that we’re going to have in October. We’re working on a date. Wouldn’t it be great if you could all come? We’ll be working with the media and we’ll be doing a lot of publicity around that opening, so we would love to have you come.

Dr. Gwynette: Lee, we’ll all stay at your house, okay?

Lee: Yeah, okay.

Sarah Pope: I love it. First house party at Lee’s place, right?

Lee: Heck, yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: If you’re watching this or listening to it, we want to direct you to the website for SOS Care. It’s soscaresc.org. You’ll learn about SOS Care and there’s a tab there for Oak Tree Farm, where you can see information about Oak Tree Farm. Most importantly, if you want to support and donate to the mission of Oak Tree Farm, click that button. Then also, if you want to advocate for this worthy project, reach out to SOS Care. This is clearly just something that is incredibly valuable to the South Carolina community. We’re very grateful, Ms. Pope, for your time today and we hope that you’ll join us again on the show soon.

Sarah Pope: I would love to, now I have new friends. Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed meeting all of you and I’ll be excited to hear about what’s happening with some of you, with your tiny house and weddings and dogs and moving and all of the other things that you have going on in your life. So yes, please stay in touch.

Dr. Gwynette: That sounds great. Well, for now, we thank our audience for joining us. You’ve been listening or watching the Autism News Network. Have a great day.

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