A unique opportunity for independent living for young adults with special needs
POINT is a residential program that supports approximately 36 young adults with developmental and learning disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, who live in apartments throughout downtown White Plains. They participate in a variety of vocational, life skills training, and social activities.
Services that are provided through the POINT program include:
- • Service coordination and benefits management
- • Life skills training in housekeeping, cooking and money and time management
- • Vocational and pre-vocational preparation and placement
- • Wellness programs
- • Social and recreational opportunities
- • Exercise and sports
- • Travel training and local and regional trips
- • Volunteer opportunities
- • Group dinner and community activities
- • Counseling and social skills training
- • Crisis intervention and 24-hour emergency coverage
Staffing is provided through a collaborative arrangement between Westchester Jewish Community Services and the Jewish Child Care Association, and includes:
- • A full-time psychologist director
- • Program specialists who support participants and help them coordinate their programs
- • Life skills trainers
- • Dedicated service coordinator
- • Vocational specialists who provide counseling, job development and job coaching
- • Instructors in wellness activities
The program is unique in that it was initially mapped out in 2008 by families unwilling to accept the model of group home placement for their young adults. Instead, they designed a program in which these young people could live independently in apartments, with supports tailored to the needs of each participant. Participants receive a weekly visit from their program specialists to help them to achieve their personal goals and assist with any problem-solving needs.
There is a full calendar of activities available to participants each month. Among the activities available are: movie nights, card and videogame tournaments, group dinners and volunteering as well as sports teams (softball, hockey, basketball, and bowling), Special Olympics, miniature golf, yoga, hiking and rock climbing.
In addition to having created a genuine community, the vocational participation rate of this group of young adults is impressive. All POINT participants are expected to be actively engaged in employment, education, or volunteer opportunities. While nationally, the rate of unemployment among persons with developmental disabilities is 85 percent, within POINT, more than 50% are in paid employment with the balance participating in paid and unpaid internships, training programs or volunteer situations.
Families continue to be an integral part of POINT. They participate in a number of committees that help with enhancing program offerings, advise on program management, and assist with accessing needed services for participants. Parents do fundraising and volunteer their talents to provide increased opportunities for the young adults.
Young adults are expected to have had some experience in living away from home, such as sleep-away camp, college, or post-secondary residential program. They must be able to take medications independently, and must demonstrate emotional stability prior to admission.
For those interested in applying for the POINT Prorgram or to receive more information please email email@example.com or contact:
Barbara Greene, Program Director
Phone: 914-761-0600 ext. 175 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org