Testimonials and Stories

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A Family that Grows Together

In 1956, the Owens family moved to Stroudsburg.  Robert and Hilda Owns relocated from Moscow, PA to look for a school for their son, Bobby.  At the time, Bobby was 7 years old and had never been to school before because he had an intellectual disability.  There were no Special Education classes in Moscow, PA at that time.

Robert and Hilda Owens learned of a class that was held in the basement of the YMCA on Main Street in Stroudsburg.  The Owen family relocated in order to provide an opportunity for Bobby to attend school.  Bobby met new friends and started his education on Main Street.  Bobby’s brother Gary, and sister Becky, settled into their new home lives as well.

As the educational system expanded, more opportunity became available for special needs students, and Bobby continued in school and eventually progressed to working at the original Burnley Workshop in East Stroudsburg.  Robert and Hilda Owens were part of the founding group of the Burnley Workshop.

Another sibling, Amy, came along and joined the Owens family in the 60s.  The Owens children grew up, married, and moved away.  Hilda Owens became a widow in 1978, but worked as a Special Education teacher.  She continued to have Bobby live in the family home.

As years passed, Hilda realized that it was time for Bobby to move on to the next phase of his life.  In 1993, Bobby moved into his new HOME on Ann Street.  His home, managed by Fitzmaurice Community Services, was better than his family could have imagined.  He was in town, around his friends, and a true part of the community.

For 26 years, Bobby has thrived in his Fitzmaurice home.  As his siblings have retired, Gary and Becky have moved back to the area and are involved in Bobby’s activities.

From starting off in a basement classroom on Main Street, to being a part of an inclusive community on Main Street, Bobby’s life is a living testament to our treatment of special needs individuals.  With community and family support, Bobby is definitely special!