Future Reality

Prior to this past year, my wife and I had a dream about where our daughter will live and thrive after we are dead and gone. With the new CMS guidelines, the future we perceived is now cloudy. We had always thought that the best environment fir her to live in would be with several of her friends with similar abilities to her. Living alone in her own home would not be appropriate for her. She needs a family. So, living in a home with 2 or 3 other roommates and a house mom would be the best situation for her. And she has expressed to us that she wants to live with her friends.

And we had thought that the services she receives would go with her to her provide her with the supports she needs and will need. But now, we are not sure about this. We hope that the wishes of the individual will be heard as well as the family’s voice. CMS is afraid of seclusion and wants everyone to be included. We have always wanted this, especially in the school years. CMS is fearful of communities that are built just for people with disabilities. But what if that’s the best situation for some. What if living alone is the best for some. What if living with roommates is best for some. There is no one fits all. Our children are each unique and an individual.

We hope that all of these situations will be considered in addressing the needs of our daughter and others.

And the same concerns we have hold true for employment. Of course we all hope to get the job we dream about, but that is not reality. We hope that the employment situation allows for many different kind of employment situations, from owning your own business, to working together with a friend or group of friends in a business to working in a workshop environment or to getting your own supported employment. These are all necessary and meet so many different needs. There is no one solution that will work. We hope that all of these situations and others will be considered as appropriate for each person.

Please add your comments and stories at Coalition for Community Choice.

Growing our programs and activities

We are focusing on community inclusion, housing, employment, classes and services as a provider agency for ID waivers.

We are engaging committed families to provide the highest quality services and create systemic change for people with developmental disabilities and autism. We are creating innovative programs that will enhance our clinical expertise.

Accomplishments this past year include:

  1. Participated as a vendor at the Media Farmer’s Market, providing inclusion opportunities for people with disabilities.
  2. Ran a 2-week arts and crafts class for young adults with disabilities with Sillynut.com.
  3. Ran a 4-week cooking and nutrition class for young adults with disabilities.
  4. Ran an outdoors/hiking class for young men with disabilities at the Tinicum Wildlife Reserve. Now in its 6th week.
  5. Participated in local employment initiatives (Delaware County and Philadelphia).
  6. Completed a house design (Linn Architects) as a model parent led house.
  7. Established a Yahoo group called Jobs4Disabled to talk about employment.
  8. Established Mark Comyns as the Director of Housing.

Our Housing plans and objectives include:

  1. Create an innovative  “Housing Supervision and Case Management Program” for young men on the spectrum similar to the PIN/JEVS model.
  2. Pursue the Delaware County OCED housing grant for FY2015
  3. Publish resource materials on housing
  4. Continue to work on cooperative and funding relationships with local university autism programs for clinical services and local sources of capital funding for create houses.
  5. Work on acquiring our 1st home for young adults in Springfield Delaware County.

Our Employment plans and objectives include:

  1. Continue to work with families to identify employment opportunities.
  2. Continue to be part of other parent-led groups where there is synergy. Learn and share.
  3. Continue as a member of the Delaware County Employment Forum, started by OID Delaware County.
  4. Continue to lead the Yahoo group called Jobs4Disabilities and hold meetings.
  5. Continue as a member of the Employment Working Group started by Tanya Regli, Executive Director of The Arc of Philadelphia.
  6. Continue to grow a relationship with the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute and ASERT.
  7. Participate at local employment-related conferences and workshops for people with disabilities.
  8. Start a business with other families locally to employ people with disabilities.

Our Programs and Classes plans and objectives include:

  1. Continue to work on providing relevant and useful programs and classes. Completed successful fall cooking and nutrition class. Working on next ones.
  2. Start a coffeehouse for young adults in Delaware County. Working with local church and provider agency. Work on making this a church ministry.
  3. Work on creating a “Get In Gear” program for fathers to actively engage them in the lives of their children. Moms need help in creating a good home and social environment for their kids.
  4. Continue our approach to community inclusion by actually getting out into the community to do something, volunteer, etc.
  5. Continue a young men’s outdoor hiking program with fathers at Tinicum Wildlife Preserve.
  6. Work to establish an outdoor education and hiking program at a Tyler arboretum.
  7. Create a clinical services advisory committee or mechanism
  8. Develop a complete set of housing resource materials and make those available on our website. Blog on housing topics.
  9. Add members to our Board of Directors.

Backpacks for the Homeless in Chester PA

We now have an Indiegogo campaign for this project at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/backpacks-for-the-homeless-in-chester-pa/x/8769163.

There are many in need. We hope to help those who don’t have any place to live. As the weather outside gets colder, this vulnerable population all over the US and the world needs to survive. We have partnered with Pastor William Barhorst of the Baskets of Faith Church and Missions, Inc., 2517 Lindsay Street, Chester, PA 19013, to work on this worthwhile project. Pastor Barhorst can be reached via email at pastorwilliambarhorst@yahoo.com or via phone 610-800-3923.

This project will fill backpacks for both women and men with items they need to help them survive on the street, especially during the upcoming winter season. This is a much needed humanitarian endeavor.

Basics:
Knit Wool caps
Smart wool socks
Gloves/mittens
Scarf
Bandanas
Washcloths
Space blankets
Dollar Stores have Rain Gear Ponchos for $1.00
Gideon Pocket Bible or Gospel of John, Psalms, Proverbs.
Toiletries, Health and Hygiene:
Multi-purpose wipes
Chapstick/ lip balm
Facial wipes
Moisturizer
Comb
Toothbrush and tooth paste
Dental floss
Grooming kit
hand sanitizer
handi-wipes
bar of soap (in ziplock)
tiny handsoaps (use once)
disposable razors
nail clippers
toilet paper
multivitamins
bandaids
gauze
The ladies would need feminine hygiene items like sanitary napkins and tampons, and even gift cards so they can purchase undergarments and their preference of sanitary items that they use instead of putting items in them that they can’t use.
Food and Drink:
Quality instant coffee
Tea
Energy drink
Beef jerky
Dried fruit/fruit rollups
Fruit leathers
Trail mix
Nuts
Granola bars
Protein powder packets
Restaurant gift cards
ramen
peanut butter
crackers
canned/cup fruit
Vienna sausages
sealed tuna/chicken salad
salt/pepper packets
Survival and Utility:
First aid kit
Water bottle with built-in filter
Heat-pack
Multi-purpose tool
Tiny flashlight
Glow sticks
Lighters/matches
String/thread
Rubber bands
Any kind of clips
Hand warmers
Tarps/liners
Ziplock/sandwich bags
Zip ties/wire twisties
Help them connect:
Journal and pen
Stationary
Stamps
Pre-paid phone card
Treats:
Chocolates
Fruit snacks
Cookie snack packs
Candy (individually wrapped)
Mints
Chewing gum
Splurge:
Starbucks, Walmart, Kmart gift card
Compact reusable bag

Pastor Barhorst has spoken to local shelters and soup kitchens and told them what we are doing. They are very excited about it. Pastor Barhorst will also be contacting other groups to help with even more backpacks because he knows that there is a huge need for them here throughout Delaware County Pa.

Backpacks will have to be purchased or obtained from local businesses who would donate them.

Helping Those Who Need It

We envision this project providing benefits to many.

New Avenue Foundation will provide opportunities for young adults and adults with disabilities in the first step of the project. There are many people with disabilities who don’t have a purpose in life once they exit the education system. They sit at home and don’t feel good about themselves. Our project will provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to work on a worthwhile project and feel self-worth. They will use their skills to purchase the backpacks and other items. They will then identify the items for each kind of backpack (whether for a man or woman) and place them in the backpack. This will give them a sense of accomplishment and feel valued.

The people Pastor Barhorst is helping will then accomplish the next step. The backpacks will be taken to Pastor Barhorst for distribution. He will provide the locations where people can benefit from our backpacks. He will use the people he serves to go out and distribute them. This will give his folks a feeling of accomplishment and value and giving back to the community.

Then, the final benefit will be for the homeless individuals who receive a backpack. The items can only help them have a little better opportunity to survive without a home and shelter.

Our Request

It has been estimated by the various references, that a backpack can be put together for $20 each. We would like to raise $1000 so that we can put together at least 50 backpacks. With your help and support, we can make and distribute these “Life Packs” to those who can really use them. We are not just looking for monetary donations. If you are a business that sells backpacks, your donation of backpacks would be greatly appreciated.

References

http://www.wimp.com/homelessbackpack/ – This video points out why this project is greatly needed and how we will create our backpacks to distribute.

http://www.occupylv.org/videos/20-homeless-backpack-care-kit – This is another reference from the Occupy Las Vegas group.

http://homesweetroad.com/blessing-bags-backpack-homeless-checklist/ – This is another great reference about the need and why it should be done. This site also has a checklist of items that should be in the backpack.

New Avenue Foundation will be at the Haverford Music Festival

Join us this Saturday, September 6, 2014, from Noon – 9:30 pm, for fun and music and food.

Kaleidoscope Family Solutions will be partnering with us. Learn about their mission and the services they provide.

We promote acceptance and inclusion for people with disabilities and autism. We advocate for them. We help them.

We will be telling our story. Learn about our mission and services.

We hope to have the following at our booth:

  • Arts and crafts table where children can make a bracelet or necklace.
  • Soccer balls that we will raffle off.
  • Organic pretzels made by Jerome Sheehan, a Havertown resident to support our organization. He is usually at the Media Farmer’s Market every Thursday.

Check out the Haverford Music Festival website for more information and a list of performers.

Join Us at the Haverford Music Festival

ATTENTION:  Provider Agencies, Non-Profits, Parent or Grass Roots Groups

Join Us at the Haverford Music Festival

Saturday, September 6, 2014, Noon – 9:30 pm

Music – Food – Fun – 15,000 people   

We are providing an opportunity for developmental disabilities organizations and service providers to join us in promoting acceptance and inclusion for people with disabilities and autism

New Avenue Foundation will be setting up its tent again this year at the Haverford Music Festival to connect with the crowds of people that pass by.

Does your organization do enough to promote community inclusion?  

Do you have an effective strategy for increasing your organization’s stature in the community?

Tell  your  story.    Make  your  own  connections.    Increase  your  name  recognition.

Create  good  will  for  your  fund  raising  activities.    Participate  in  your  community.

Demonstrate  your  support  for  your  community

AND

Help those with developmental disabilities and autism.

The music festival provides space for businesses & other organizations to promote themselves & demonstrate community involvement. Banks, local shops & civic groups recognize the value of this venue.

  • We will have a free arts and crafts table where children strolling by complete a project like an ornamental bracelet. We will also be advocating for people with disabilities and explaining our mission and services.
  • There is an equal opportunity for your organization to connect and tell its story.
  • New Avenue will provide tables for you to use.  Your organization can sign up for a 2 or 4 hour block of time.  There will be a minimal fee to help cover our costs.  Free for grass roots parents’ organizations.

Join us.  Call Jim Wurster @ 610-246-8939 or Tom Reinke @ 610-505-9388.

NAF is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity  –  4 State Rd. #108, Media, PA 19063.