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Jefferson Awards: Mother creates job opportunities and safe environment for adults with developmental disabilities

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"Jennifer Parker is a local mother who dedicates her time to helping families like hers by providing a safe space for adults with developmental disabilities to grow and learn.

Thanks to her efforts, Parker is this month's winner of the Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good, which recognizes the unsung heroes in our community."

WRTV | Lauren Casey | February 25, 2021 

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You may remember the Alex and Ali Foundation from a past issue of South. The nonprofit organization, which works to empower young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities through meaningful employment opportunities, has embarked on another outreach: Happy Hounds.

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“We are truly changing lives of these individuals with developmental disabilities,” Jennifer says. “They have so much value, worth and ability. They just need the right environment and support to be successful. They are passionate about taking care of dogs and sharing love with them.”

SOUTH Magazine | Jenny Elig | Winter 20-21 | page 18

Happy Hounds gives young adults living with developmental disabilities the opportunity to not only work but love what they're doing.

They say when you love your job, you never work a day in your life. When you love dogs, how can you be anything but happy doing your job?

Happy Hounds is a new doggy day care, and it's giving young adults living with developmental disabilities the opportunity to not only work but love what they're doing. 

WTHR | Alyssa Raymond | September 3, 2020

A new doggy daycare opens today on Indy's south side, but this location is providing more than a comfy stay for your pets during the day.

Happy Hounds, a doggy daycare, is the second major project for the Alex and Ali Foundation, an organization with a mission to empower and enhance the lives of adults with developmental disabilities by providing them with work experiences in the community.

WRTV | Lauren Casey | September 1, 2020

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Inside the small southside Indianapolis home of Happy Hounds doggy day care, the positive vibes are overwhelming.

Walls are painted in bright, bombastic colors and adorned with funky canine art. Bouncy music plays in the background. And soon, equally energetic dogs and young adults with autism or other developmental delays will fill the facility with the sounds of play.

That reciprocal affection is the whole point.

Daily Journal | Ryan Trares | August 29, 2020

A new doggy daycare on the city’s south side will be staffed by young adults with developmental disabilities. It’s called Happy Hounds and is the second outreach of a local nonprofit.

In just a few days, the doors will be open. It’s a place of comfort and care not only for dogs but for those behind the counter.

It’s the first day of work for Ali, Alex and Lizzie. They are ready to learn and listen. The job requires one thing: Love.

WISHTV |  Katie Wisely | August 28, 2020

Alex & Ali Foundation has opened a nonprofit doggy day care staffed by young adults with developmental disabilities.

Happy Hounds is the second outreach of the Alex and Ali Foundation, a local nonprofit group that empowers young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities through meaningful employment opportunities.

Jennifer and Andrew Parker founded the nonprofit in 2014 and named it after their son, Alex, and his best friend, Ali Callahan. Alex and Ali both have autism. Throughout Alex’s childhood, he benefited from resources and opportunities that were available to him. But as he grew older, there were fewer and fewer opportunities to engage with the community and be productive.

The Southside Times |  Stephanie Dolan | September 27, 2020

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"They will be cuddling the dogs, training the dogs, cleaning up after the dogs, and then working with the customers as well doing customer interaction," says Parker. "They want to be a part of the community, and the community needs them. They are such wonderful people. The community needs to see that they have skills. They have value. They have worth. And we are showing the community that."

WRTV | Lauren Casey | February 5, 2020

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A new doggy daycare coming to the south side of Indianapolis just might be the first of its kind in the country. It's going to be called Happy Hounds and will be run by young adults with developmental disabilities.

WTHR | Alyssa Raymond | December 6, 2019