Written by: Featured In the Community

Friendship Circle Breaks Ground on New 20,000 Square Foot Facility

Friendship Circle in Miami, the volunteer-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to offering friendship and acceptance to individuals with special needs, announced today the groundbreaking of its “Friendship Campus,” a 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in South Florida. A visionary project to set the standard for Friendship Circle nationally throughout the U.S., delivery is anticipated for Spring 2023. The innovative development will also be the home to the Chabad of Kendall/Pinecrest.

The milestone was celebrated with a grand ceremony event on Sunday, December 5, at the 2.5-acre property, where more than 200 guests were in attendance. The organization’s members of children and their families gathered with supporters, philanthropists, business, and community leaders. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Commissioners Raquel Regalado and Danielle Cohen Higgins, along with Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez, Florida House Representative Vance Aloupis, and Florida State Senator Ileana Garcia joined and spoke uplifting messages about the impact of the organization’s mission and dedication in the community.

This momentous occasion marks the next evolution for Friendship Circle in Miami, which was founded 17 years ago by Co-Directors Rabbi Yossi and Nechama Harlig. The new Friendship Campus will allow for serving thousands more in its full vision, within two, single-story buildings with synergistic design.

“We are incredibly thankful to all individuals in our community who have contributed to this significant achievement, as we make the new Friendship Campus a reality after more than 25 years in the making,” said Harlig. “It is truly lifechanging to soon introduce a state-of-the-art location that will be a second home to many, many families in South Florida. It would not be possible without our volunteers, members, board of directors, donors and long-time patrons, who share the mutual sentiment of providing a place to ‘belong’ for all.”

Located in South Miami Dade, the new campus will afford an indoor and outdoor setting, allowing for abundant services, play areas and a garden, as well as generous onsite parking. The organization has operated from its 3,000-square-foot facility, located at 8700 SW 112 Street, since 2004, which reached maximum capacity and is inadequate to accommodate expanding programs and the growing children and family participants.

In its fully realized form, Friendship Campus will be a community and therapeutic center, social meeting place and hub for its network of families and individuals with special needs. New building amenities will include a welcoming lobby and reception area, engaging activity rooms and lounges, classrooms, multi-purpose rooms, a library and “snozelen” sensory room, music studio, life skills rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, art studio, infant room, and social hall. An accessible playground will also be available for outdoor activities.

Existing programming, which is widely successful, will continue, such as the Children’s Circle, Friends @ Home, Art Circle, Winter/Summer Camp, Equestrian Circle, Life Skills Around Town, Sports Circle, and more. 

“The Friendship Campus will continue the legacy of serving thousands of families in our community with the finest location, providing a deeper sense of belonging and engagement for children and their parents. I’m proud of our collective accomplishments and look forward to its delivery,” added David Evensky, Board Chair of Friendship Circle in Miami.

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Tags: , Last modified: December 20, 2021