Walk of Joy serves and supports individuals and their families to improve quality of life by teaching and developing skills towards independence and self-sufficiency.
Future forward Walk of Joy will experience growth in collaboration with community partners to increase opportunities for overall inclusion and further the acceptance of individual’s strengths and limitations.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control
Walk of Joy was officially established in 2008, but was brewing long before that. Wendell Anderson started working in the supported-living field when he was 22 years old. He was hands-on, managed multiple houses, and gained invaluable experience. He later worked in the social work field, where he met Walk of Joy co-founder Jessica Watanabe.
Both Wendell and Jessica started to realize they wanted to be in relationship with people, which they were lacking in their jobs. Wendell started coaching a basketball team and noticed that his players that had disabilities had aging parents that soon would not be able to care for their children. One parent asked Wendell if he would be an independent provider and in 2001 Wendell was certified (but never used the certification). Finally in 2008 Wendell became an independent provider and started by serving that same basketball player! By the end of 2008 Walk of Joy was serving 8 individuals.
Walk of Joy continues to grow year after year, making connections with other organizations in the community and working closely with parents and guardians. Around 25 individuals are now served through supported living, 9 individuals attend our day program, and we will soon began supported employment in the community.