C.A.R.E.S. (Community And Residential Empowerment Services) held their ribbon cutting and grand opening event on Friday (August 15, 2014) for their Tamaqua location.
Participating in the event were staff, state delegates and Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce members.
C.A.R.E.S. currently has two locations. They are 139 West Broad Street in Tamaqua and 1188 Route 940 in Pocono Lake (which opened in February 2014).
The Tamaqua location currently incorporates 28 Day Program participants and 11 Life Sharing participants.
“We strive to empower individuals with developmental disabilities to connect in their community,” said Sheila Davison, CEO, C.A.R.E.S. In addition to a number of fun activities, Davison said that participants are given the option to volunteer in the community or to help area non-profit organizations. Day Program options for participants last week consisted of cleaning community parks, going to the movies, nature walks, visit horse farm, visiting Hometown Farmers Market, pizza party, playing miniature golf, volunteer at a local church, swimming at the Tamaqua Bungalow Pool and working on goals.
Davison added they are also working on the development of their C.A.R.E.S. Pine Street Adult Services Program. The program will offer various opportunities that will help participants gain employment skills and provide the opportunity to receive a pay check. “Participants want to earn money, just like the rest of us,” said Davison.
Information on their website reads:
– C.A.R.E.S. is an organization providing person-centered services to individuals with developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges. We specialize in connecting our self-advocates with opportunities to be family focused, self- determined, individualized, person centered, strength based and optimize opportunities for job training, employment, growth, independence, involvement in the community, vacation services and to provide long-term support to families in a residential setting.
– We appreciate diversity and respect and value our employees and those we serve. We believe in holistic approaches to help the entire person.
– We encourage long-term relationships and stress the importance of natural supports, individuality, respect, choice with positive approaches and community integration. In recognizing that people with intellectual developmental disabilities are members of our society and can live successfully in their own communities, we plan to successfully help reunite families and strengthen relationships. We hope to see friendships flourish where none have existed.
– Our programs are designed around the fundamental we believe that with the support of family and friends, individuals with developmental disabilities can live successfully, work and play in their community. Individuals with intellectual disabilities can decide how to live their lives and what supports they need. It also means that they are responsible for their decisions and actions.
– We believe that families working together is the best vision of creating an environment where self-advocates are recognized and respected in the community.
– C.A.R.E.S. staff members work closely with self-advocates, families, employees and Lifesharing providers in order to ensure quality services and the best home match.
– C.A.R.E.S. provides licensed services through the Department of Public Welfare as well as unlicensed services for individuals who are independent and require minimal supports.
“Our core values at C.A.R.E.S. are Caring, Respectful, Outcome based, Family focused and family first, Self-determination, Ethical, Equitable, Dedicated, Appreciation, Team-oriented, Take pride in our efforts, Holistic, and Customer service oriented,” said Lori Miller, President, C.A.R.E.S.
Both Davison and Miller stated their appreciate for the support from the community during their grand opening and ribbon cutting.
The event was followed by a participant and family picnic at the West Penn Community Park.
For more information about C.A.R.E.S. or its Life Sharing Program, visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CAREScommunity, online at http://cares4u.org or by calling them at (570) 225-7360.