Joe Apollo is a real estate broker who turned entrepreneur when he accepted a 94 room boarding home in lieu of a real estate commission. The agreement launched him on a twenty-year odyssey that would define and give purpose to his life, while affecting the lives of hundreds of low income, indigent, elderly and handicapped individuals who had fallen between the cracks. And it introduced him to a very special segment of our population that our middle and upper class rarely get to know beyond passing them on the street, much less becoming their friends.
Joe lives in a condominium in Pewaukee, Wisconsin with his wife Rosemary and dog, Eli.
On the Memories of Endearing Personalities website you can study the interesting smiling faces on many of our residents, you can catch a glimpse of the buildings they lived in and get a quick overview of our history. But, nothing better sums up what we offered to our residents than our brochure did. So we have included the entire c1998 brochure below.
However, our website is merely an outline of my memoir and you won't know the rest of the story until you have gotten to know the hearts and minds of those who lived, worked and volunteered at Richardson House and East Samaria. The rest of the story is about those hearts and minds that come to life in the 40 vignettes concerning the endearing personalities profiled in my memoir. And the rest of the story is also about the unusual way it all began with a delayed answer to a prayer and to the challenges along the way that included; a major fire; almost being put out of business by bureaucracies on more than one occasion; having a broken promise by a bank put me in receivership; making the transition from a sole ownership for-profit company to a non-profit and answering to a board of directors; and the most scary of all, going into this unique business with no experience what-so-ever, working with people with disabilities. And finally, it's about the tragic crash landing that is documented in the epilogue.
This book is dedicated to you, the hundreds of endearing personalities who called Richardson House and East Samaria home during the twenty years I had the privilege of serving you. The vast majority of you were living with mental illness, and many of you were suddenly abandoned by the institutions where you had been living for years. Those institutions had made no preparations for you to live independently or for society to accept you. Every one of you had an enormous cross to bear and you usually carried yours with dignity, cheer and an admirable resolve to make the most of your life within the limitations imposed by your burden.
...continued in Memories of Endearing Personalities