Southern Minnesota Independent Living Enterprises and Services (SMILES Center for Independent Living) is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting people with disabilities to realize their full potential. Our vision is a world without barriers with equal opportunities & choices for an independent life.
Founded in 1990 and operating as a Center for Independent Living, SMILES' cornerstone services include, but are not limited to: Systems and individual Advocacy, Information & Referral, Independent Living Skills, Peer Mentoring, Youth Transition from School to Community Living and Transition from Institution to Community Living. SMILES serves the communities and people of Region Nine in southern Minnesota with offices in Fairmont, Mankato, and New Ulm .
Overcoming barriers to achieving independence is our passion and our work. In 2020, SMILES served over 2,000 individuals of every age and disability. Advocacy is the foundation of our work whether it is personal or collective, and what is central to our focus is that people with disabilities have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and self-direct their needs.
We measure our success in the lives that are changed, the steps toward independence that are achieved, the barriers that are eliminated, and the general acceptance that everyone has the right to pursue meaningful goals. We have thousands of stories to tell that are made possible by your generosity, and with your continued support we will have thousands more to tell.