Betty's Dream is named for Betty Taylor, a woman who lived with both muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. Betty was a mentally active young person who wanted to live independently, in an atmosphere of hope, free from institutional constraints.
Since such a place did not at that time exist, Betty, who was not a person to give up easily, organized a meeting of family and friends of the physically handicapped. From that meeting came Betty's Dream, a foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life for the physically handicapped. Betty chose two symbols for the foundation, a rainbow and a butterfly. The rainbow to represent hope for the future. The butterfly to represent freedom.
Freedom to dream...to think...to try...to reach out...to belong.
For nine years, Betty's family and friends and other volunteers worked to build a financial base from which to make Betty's Dream come true. Everything that could be thought of to raise funds to build Rainbow Apartments was done; cookie sales, flea markets, raffles, concerts. Donations came from people who heard about Betty and her dream. Grants came from foundations and organizations. The Air Force Sergeants Association of Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire generously offered their support.
The dream was still just a dream. Finally, the Foundation received a federal loan to be administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Construction began on Rainbow Apartments in 1984, the doors opened in summer of 1985.
Betty lived to see her dream, but only when the physically handicapped in all parts of the country have the advantages of living independent lives will Betty's dream be fully realized.