In The Mainstream: The Newsletter of Community Mainstreaming Summer 2019

Our Growing Family - From The Executive Director - Eileen McDonald Egan, MPH, MA

Our Growing Family

Welcome to All Our New Families and Thank You to All of Our Supporters and Friends for Helping Us Make This Happen

2019 is a year of exciting growth for CMA. We will be adding three homes and 12 additional
people to our residential family. We also expect to provide new services to approximately
50 people through our Self Direction and Community Habilitation programs.

New Homes

Dix Hills: On April 15, 2019, we opened a beautiful new ranch home in Dix Hills for 7 people (2 men, 5 women) who formerly lived in a state-run facility in Melville. CMA took over the care for these people in 2017, while searching for a more appropriate and community integrated setting. The home we identified required significant renovations and now is almost brand new! The home is completely wheelchair accessible, and each adult has their own bedroom. The house is located on a quiet cul de-sac and sits on a beautiful park-like property of approximately one acre. The residents of the home have all adjusted well to their new home and their families couldn’t be happier. We will host a grand opening Open House brunch on Saturday, September 14, 2019.

Malverne: This fall, we plan to open a home for 6 young women in Malverne. Plans for this home began with 3 women who have been life-long friends since kindergarten and wanted to move into a home together. The Long Island Regional Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) put out a request for proposals for a 6-bed home to be utilized by people moving from their family homes. CMA was awarded the opportunity and identified a very nice home in Malverne, which is a perfect location for several of the women, because it is located near their families, jobs, volunteer sites, and recreational activities. When CMA contacted the Village of Malverne to notify them of the home purchase, we were welcomed most graciously by then-Mayor Patti Ann McDonald, and many supportive residents in the Village. Mayor McDonald held an informational meeting for neighbors of the house and reached out to families and friends who she knew would be supportive and understanding. Frequently when we approach political leaders about our intentions to open a new home, they tell us behind closed doors that they do not object, but because of the protests of certain noisy residents, they cannot be supportive because they need to protect their elective positions. Mayor Patti Ann McDonald is an exemplary model of a leader with compassion, and on November 7, 2019, CMA will be honoring her at our Fall Gala with the John Walter Humanitarian Award.

North Merrick: The third house we are opening this year is located in North Merrick for 6 young women who are also moving from their parents’ homes. The Long Island OPWDD awarded this opportunity for people who wanted to move into a female-only residence, and again, CMA’s proposal was accepted for the development opportunity. Six women have been identified for compatibility and shared interests. CMA is waiting for approvals from the state of New York and the Town of Hempstead to begin renovations. The home should be ready for moving in by the end of the year or early 2020.

Self-Direction and Community Habilitation: Self Direction is a service families can choose, which is highly individualized and somewhat flexible, from person-to-person. Families have much more responsibility in this model. Families are responsible for the hiring and supervision of staff and submitting receipts for approved services. CMA acts as a Fiscal Intermediary, meaning, we check the paperwork submitted by staff and families, and issue employee pay and reimbursement for services. Community Habilitation is a service people choose in place of certified Residential or Day Habilitation. Staff are hired to assist individuals attain their goals in the community. Staff can be hired directly by the family (Self Direction), or they can be hired by CMA (agency Community Habilitation). In agency Community Habilitation, the agency is responsible for recruitment, training, and supervision of staff. CMA is currently hosting monthly Open Houses for families of children and adults in order to explain what services are available through CMA and elsewhere. The OPWDD system is very confusing, with changes going on constantly, so families are encouraged to attend these free events and keep in touch with CMA staff.

CMA Golf Outing:
Thank You to Everyone Who Supported!

Community Mainstreaming held the first day of its golf outing on May 6th.
Guests had a very nice experience with beautiful weather.
Due to the rain, the second day of the golf outing was rescheduled for August 5th.

Golf Outing

Success Story:
From Nonverbal to Clerk...Supported Employment Works!

Tim was great from the day he was born.” Mrs. Carman beamed when she recently met with CMA staff to talk about Tim’s success in our employment program. Tim’s parents gushed about how sweet and loving Tim was as a baby. How he taught himself to play piano at home and how he excelled at baseball as a child. Tim was nonverbal until the age of five years old, but he had the support of many amazing teachers and his parents as tireless and passionate advocates.

Tim journeyed with us through pre-vocational services and into supported employment. Our team recognized right away that Tim is extremely bright. We got to know him well and felt that his significant focus and attention to detail would allow him to excel in a clerical capacity. CMA’s made a connection with a law firm and was able to get several managers to come in to meet with him at the CMA office to allow for an interview in a supportive environment since Tim can sometimes have difficulty expressing himself under pressure.

The law firm managers were charmed by his presence and offered him a brief work try out to see how he did. He excelled at his work tasks at the Law Firm, and they hired him soon after, eventually increasing his hours. One of the job coaches noted it was amazing to see the young man have lunch with his co-workers. Despite his quiet nature, he was fully accepted and appeared comfortable and confident. He was able to learn new skills, including social skills.

When the firm unfortunately closed, Tim was understandably disappointed. But with the support of CMA and his parents, he was soon hired by another law firm due to his impressive resume. He is now successfully employed as a support service clerk near his home.

“Timothy has been an absolute pleasure to work with. He is smart, polite and very work oriented. He completes all his tasks efficiently and timely. I am so happy to have him as part of our team!” — Cina – Client Services Manager at Kirschenbaum & Phillips, P.C. When asked what advice they might have for other parents of young people with disabilities transitioning to adulthood, the Carmans said: “Get them involved and keep them involved with programs like CMA!”

Staff Spotlight -- Meet Kerreshia Carr:
Direct Support Professional With Community Mainstreaming

Kerreshia Carr has been a Direct Support Professional with Community Mainstreaming for more than three years. What she loves about her job is the people she supports, and it shows. “Everyone is unique in their own way,” Kerreshia says. “The people I work with are so welcoming. They are like family.” Kerreshia has worked in several of the Community Mainstreaming residences, bringing joy and patience to the lives of the people we support. Kerreshia spends time researching the interests of the people she works with, whether it be sports, the Beatles, couponing, menu planning, or activities at the Public Library. Kerreshia will find activities and events related to people’s interests and take them to participate. “I want them to experience something new.” When asked what she would say to someone just starting in this job, Kerreshia said, “Come in wholeheartedly and with a positive mindset and you will find that this is the best job!”

Upcoming Events

Board of Directors

Johnathan Lerner – President
Jeffrey Fachler – Vice President
Robert Peare, CPA – Treasurer
David M. Donnelly, CPA – Secretary
Daniel Brenner, PhD
Nancy Comer
Joe DiMaggio
Eve Koopersmith, Esq.
Janet Shaw
Alice Weinberg

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