Mission & History

Smith Agency/Serenity started with a beautiful baby boy with curly dark hair and big brown eyes. The name "Smith" came from its founders, William Sr. and Terri Smith. "Serenity" is the peace parents finally feel when they find the right place for their forever children.

William and I had four sons: Gregory, Michael, Jason, and Bill Jr. Gregory, whom we call Greg, was the first born and the driving force to create a place for the unique needs of our very special population. Greg was born 9/11/66 and had a complicated delivery which resulted in oxygen deprivation and developmental delays. Although as a mother I knew something was wrong with Greg's development at 18 months, doctors were reluctant to confirm a diagnosis until the age of 8. As a young, naïve mother during the late sixties, when I was told my son had developmental delays, I just figured he would catch up. I stayed in denial until the realization hit like a crushing blow that seemed unrecoverable. My son was not going to be that typical kid; I had a sandbox drop out!

The work then started. I tried to learn everything possible about special needs children, the different diagnoses, syndromes, schools, resources and what I could hope for my boy's future. Computers and Internet were not around back then, so I sat there with an old black phone and a massive phone book. Greg attended special classes in school and many times the call would come to pick him up because of his rage, aggression, and maladaptive behaviors. Then the gran-mal seizures started along with the other pubescent maladies. Greg's needs seemed to overshadow the needs of my other sons and at one time I considered placing him, but I could not find the right place. I just could not bring myself to leave him. I prayed that God would give us the strength to raise all the boys together for as long as possible without hurting or alienating any of Greg's brothers. So we took each day as it came and decided "to worry about it tomorrow." Well, today is the tomorrow I worried about yesterday and with great faith and determination, I found a place not only for our son but for all sons and daughters with developmental disabilities. My mission for Greg is the same mission I have for all the students and residents of Smith Agency: that they be happy, adjusted individuals, working, active, and contributing to their community.

Terri Smith-Weeks, founder

TIMELINE OF COMPANY GROWTH

Through the years, Smith has grown out of need, not ambition. It is still a family operated nonprofit agency serving the Colorado area. William W Smith Jr. (Bill) is now the Executive Director and brother to Greg. The "Smith Philosophy" is still followed and always will be. It is very simple: clients are always first and foremost. We treat our clients as we would want to be treated if we were challenged with the disabilities that affect their lives every day.

  • 1986: Smiths become Foster Parents

  • 1988: The Smiths adds some temporary children that never left and become permanent clients, so Smiths become Group Home Parents for 8.

  • 1991: Smith have to move due to lack of room for the kids to play both inside and outdoors. The Group home and Smiths move to an old country home which serve as an office and County Group Home with lots of room for children. More children come on board.

  • 1992: Smiths form a non-profit 501c3 agency and found professionals willing to serve on their Board of Directors. Three of the founding Board of Directors are still active Board Members 21 years later.

  • 1994: Smith Agency open Serenity I, an RCCF (Residential Child Care Facility for 8 children) with administration being housed at the country house.

  • 1995: Smith Agency become licensed to certify Foster and Host Home Parents for children who could step down from high need placements.

  • 1996: Smith Agency open Serenity II, another RCCF, to separate the girls from the boys.

  • 1997: Children were becoming adults, and we could not give them up, so Serenity III opens. Serenity III is a PCA (Personal Care Alternative). It is a 3-bed residential home with a yard, car, private room and staffed with rotating staff.

  • 1998: Now that we have adults, Smith Agency opens an Adult Day Program and Community Participation.

  • 1998: With More children becoming adults, another PCA opens for men, Serenity IV.

  • 2001: Our children with severe behaviors were being sent home or suspended from school. We decide to start our own school, so we open Serenity Learning Center - a Day Treatment Program.

  • 2003: Smith Agency opens Serenity V, a PCA for women, and Serenity VII, a PCA for men.

  • 2006: Smith Agency opens Serenity VIII and Serenity X: PCAs for women; and opens Serenity IX, a small group home for boys.

  • 2007: Smith Agency opens Serenity XI, a PCA for women.

  • 2009: Smith Agency opens Serenity SXII, a PCA for women.

  • 2010: Our Day Treatment school overflows with students, so Smith Agency purchases the building across the street from the Serenity Learning Center and names it "The Gregory Center," in honor of the founders son who was the driving force behind the creation and expansion of the company.

  • 2010: The administration offices are moved to the current office on Evans Avenue in Aurora due to the need to accommodate the expanded staff.

  • 2012: Smith Agency purchases the two story building next to the administration offices on Evans to accommodate the growing Adult Day Program.

  • 2013: Smith Agency opens Serenity SXIII, a PCA for men.