We provide people with disabilities a “forever” home if that is what they want. We can also provide a “for now” home if their future plan involves a few stops before they get to their “forever” home living situation. Either way, we strive to make our group homes safe, secure, healthy, supportive and comfortable for the people living there. We endeavor to support people to experience their community as an active participant, not an observer. We ensure that we find genuinely caring staff people that we train well. We expect staff to treat everyone with dignity, respect and provide an abundance of choice making opportunities as we believe every moment of every day is an educational opportunity. We also believe that Individual needs come first, always.
Meaningful Day Time Activities
Our Adult Day Training (ADT) programs are based on the same founding principles. Our meaningful day curriculum was developed with large concepts including, but not limited to, educational skill development, social skills development, disaster preparedness, personal management and coping skills development, nutritional education, health and wellness best practices, community awareness, self-advocacy and self-determination.
Food Box Distribution Program
Shortly after establishing our Dundee ADT program, we soon discovered significant barriers to healthy living. Many people we serve, their families and a number of our staff’s families, experience “food hardships” on a daily basis. As a result, we became an active Feeding America partner through the Agape Food Bank enabling us as an authorized point of contact, to distribute prepared food box’s for the benefit of people with disabilities within Polk County.
The Food Research and Action Center’s 2015 survey revealed that the Lakeland Winter Haven area ranked as the 2nd worse metropolitan area in the United States with 23.2% of our residents not having enough money to pay for food on a daily basis (food hardship). We believe that people with disabilities make up a large portion of that statistic. http://frac.org/pdf/food-hardship-2016.pdf
We are not likely to ever fully eliminate the food hardships experienced by everyone with a disability, their family or people working to serve someone with a disability in our community but we are making a dent. With the help of new collaborative partnerships, we can make a bigger dent.
Health and Wellness Program
In May, 2016, we implemented our Health and Wellness program to help people with disabilities experience improved access and support to increase their healthy lifestyle choices based on knowledge and experience as well as reduce obesity and other secondary health conditions. In our first three months (baseline), 80.9% of the people we serve have achieved positive progress toward their IBW range. One person lost 5.8 lbs. another has gained 8.4 lbs., both are now within their IBW range. The most significant loss is 9.1 lbs. 57% of people we support have decreased their blood pressure (BP). 19% people reporting chronic high blood pressure have been able to lower their BP to within the normal range.
We are feeling really good about this program so far, and we are hoping we can continue to report such positive results.
Job Development Plans
We have recently become an approved to provide employment services, supported employment service, OJT (On the Job) Training and self-employment services (CBTAC) through the Florida Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation. We are in the process of developing how we can best support people with disabilities to obtain an individualized job situation that will best suit their abilities, their targeted income plan, and what they actually want to do instead of what is available for them to do.
Our staff is the best!
We are very fortunate to have found a great mixture of staff people that genuinely care, are passionate about learning and teaching new things, have the desire to support people with a disability to become who they want to become and are really great to be around.
And we are pretty big on making sure all of our staff complete a background screening through Polk County Sheriff’s Dept., the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the FBI. All staff receive on-going training in Consumer Bill of Rights, Zero Tolerance Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation; Medication Administration, CPR, First Aid, and reactive strategy management systems including Professional Crisis Management (PCM) and Alternatives in Behavior Crises (ABC), in addition to individualized specific instruction.
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