Sunnyhill, established in 1978, provides tailored residential, recreational and educational opportunities for children and adults with developmental disabilities. In partnership with community and natural supports, Sunnyhill empowers individuals to become productive citizens and achieve their individual dreams.

The Finding Resources, Important Everyday Needs and Disability Services (F.R.I.E.N.D.S.) Family Advocacy Center is a central hub for families to call, email, or visit when they need help finding resources within the community to help their loved ones with disabilities. Through F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Sunnyhill partners with various agencies to ensure the needs of people with developmental disabilities are being met to the fullest. Whether it’s finding recreational opportunities, residential placement, or help navigating the school system, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is available to help.

Since its founding, the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Family Advocacy Center has helped more than 300 local families find resources for their loved ones with developmental disabilities. The Tilles Foundation has been instrumental in helping to open a family resource center to serve children with developmental disabilities, and helping families find resources in the St. Louis community.

Resources include:

  • In-home supports
  • Therapy services
  • Assistance with IEP meetings
  • Assistance with case management
  • Respite care
  • Guardianship
  • Socialization opportunities and other services

The F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Family Advocacy Center partners with over 20 other community organizations serving people with disabilities, therefore fostering relationships and creating connections between organizations for families—leading to a significant reduction in stress.

Through the grant from the Tilles Foundation, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. has been able to reach out to families throughout the St. Louis Area—through participation in community events, resource fairs, and local school events. Many of the families within the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. program are starting to return for additional resources, which is a testament to the success of the new outreach program. Some families have also referred F.R.I.E.N.D.S. to their friends and family.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is currently working with a family in Florissant who has a 12-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy. This girl is non-verbal, non-ambulatory, and has very limited supports in place. She is being raised by a single mother with 6 other children. The family is in need of in-home personal care services, a car seat for safe transportation, a new and better-fitting wheelchair, respite services, nursing, socialization and therapy services. Thus far, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. has been able to collaborate with five other community organizations to get the family the resources they need. In addition, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is working with this family to navigate their educational needs. The family is extremely grateful for the help and support the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Advocacy Center is providing.