About Us

There has long been a need for a program in the eastern area of Birmingham to service the social and recreational needs for adults with exceptional needs. When these young adults were in high schools, they were surrounded by friends and interacted socially on a daily basis. However, when they leave the school system, it is often more challenging to navigate socially and make meaningful connections. Many have a difficult time connecting with friends, activities are often unstructured and unplanned; therefore it is difficult for them to remain socially active or to be involved in thier community in a meaningful way.

In the fall of 2012, First Baptist Church partnered with Independence Place and gave the use of several rooms and facility amenities to us.  We are not a ministry from the church but are so grateful for what First Baptist graciously continues to offer our program. The ultimate goal is to have our own facility and reach many more individuals in the process. 

The activities participants of the Independence Place are engaged in are fun and entertaining, but the ultimate goal of any sport, craft, or community outing is to maintain and enhance social skills and cognitive skills, enabling the participants to enjoy life with the greatest level of independence possible.

Our goals:

  • To provide daily programs for our participants which include team sports, exercise classes, social events, music, daily living activities, and arts and crafts.
  • To provide opportunities for our participants to connect to the community in a meaningful way by serving with local ministries and mission programs, instilling a sense of civic engagement through giving and serving.
  • To provide hands-on training for teachers, social workers and others who are involved with exceptional citizens.


Board of Directors

  • Carrie Jones, Founder & Executive Director
  • Lance Pate, President
  • Janis Braue, Vice President
  • Pam Elmore, Parent Advocate
  • Katie Thompson, Board Member



Program Personnel

  • Debbie Little, Program Director
  • Mitch Hawley
  • Ken Lass
  • Lisa Hunter