Two Types of Residences
CLC operates two types of residences, licensed, funded and regulated by New York State’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (NYS OPWDD). Our supervised homes provide a higher level of assistance and supervision than our supported homes. All supervised homes have staff on the premises 24 hours per day. The supported sites are staffed according to the needs of the specific individual.
CLC operates 11 supervised locations all around northern Westchester County. The consumers in these locations require a greater level of support and assistance with the tasks of everyday living. A supervised location may be located in a traditional single family home or in a condominium complex or high rise apartment building. (It is the amount of teaching, oversight and support that determines the supervised classification, not the physical structure of the residence.) Our largest supervised site has twelve residents; our smallest supervised site has three residents. We believe strongly that smaller is better.
CLC operates 28 supported locations primarily in Mount Kisco and in the Cortlandt/Peekskill area. The people living in these locations are capable of living semi-independently and are able to perform many of their daily living tasks without direct supervision or assistance. They are competent in quickly evacuating the building for fire drills and do not have medical conditions or behavioral problems which require 24 hour supervision and oversight. All of the people in supported sites have a job or organized day program which they are able to attend with minimal staff assistance.
These program sites are primarily located in condominium or cooperative apartment complexes and generally have three or four socially compatible people living together. CLC staff provides the support, instruction and oversight needed to ensure a safe, pleasant and effective home environment. The supported program tends to be highly individualized; and is carefully tailored to the specific needs of the individual. As such, some locations require and receive greater amounts of support than others. The locations of all of our supported sites are close to public transportation which is used extensively by our consumers to access local shopping, recreation and community activities.
Vocational and Day Habilitation Services
All of CLC’s consumers enjoy a wide range of choices in selecting their daily activities. Some of the CLC consumers are quite capable and work independently in local businesses and shops. Some have chosen to attend day programs or activities provided by other similar agencies around Northern Westchester.
CLC provides vocational and day habilitation services to about twenty percent of its consumers who had previously been less than successful in other programs. The programs are carefully tailored to match the preferences and skill level of the individual. Given the fact that some of our participants have experienced so much failure and disappointment in the past, we strive to always meet the challenge of creating a consumer designed program in which they cannot fail! We create an environment in which they perform tasks and activities which lead directly to more complex tasks and help them develop the skills needed to succeed in their own programmatic choices.
This program consists of several different options. Some of our consumers chose to work in local highs schools or town halls. Here we provide a number of contract services and attempt to teach the skills each individual would need to acquire and hold a similar job within the larger community. Our groups work in close contact with the students of a local high school and staffers from Town Hall.
Before going out to the various jobs, each day begins with a discussion of current events and newspapers. There is a large emphasis on Healthy Living which begins with discussion of current practices, leading to learning to read food labels and looking for warning signs of unhealthy foods.
Jo Jo’s Café is one of the most popular choices for our consumers. It is the logical expansion of an older program designed for one person. It has grown into an entity which provides delicious and healthy foods and snacks for Board Meetings and to a growing number of lunch customers. The current menu for Jo Jo’s contains almost 20 delicious, healthy choices… planned, prepared, packaged and sold by CLC consumers. In operating the café, we have the real-time opportunity to teach everything from telephone skills (order taking) to food handling and sanitary skills.
When the café is closed, consumers can choose to visit the community, go hiking, participate in Tai Chi, visit the library, participate in a reading group, work on their poetry all while learning to collaborate and work as part of a team.
We are attempting to establish a successful apiary and have six operational hives. Once established, we plan to develop and sell a line of natural honey products while incorporating the activity into our training and vocational program.
Health Services and Medication
CLC is not a hospital nor is it a health clinic despite the fact that there are a number of registered nurses on staff. CLC arranges for the health care needs and monitoring for its consumers but does not actually provide medical services. The actual health services are provided by physicians participating in various health plans and in many cases are the same providers that CLC’s employees can access. If a consumer is prescribed medication, CLC arranges to have the medication administered by trained staff and provides regular feedback to all prescribing physicians.
Community Living Corp. is funded and licensed by New York State’s Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (NYSOPWDD). All CLC residences are categorized as Individual Residential Alternatives or “IRA’s” as they are commonly known.
Once an individual qualifies for residency in terms of a defined developmental disability, residency and has no significant financial resources of his or her own, there is no cost to the family or individual. The program is funded from a combination of public benefits including Medicaid, Social Security and Social Security Disability. Family or parental income is not considered. Consumers who can work gainfully are expected to do so; in this case they are required by law to contribute to the cost of their care by paying what is termed “rent”. Obviously this is calculated according to the legal mandate and more often than not results in a nominal or non-existent amount each month.
About half of our current consumers pay no rent at all and about one quarter pay less than $100.00 per month. The personal allowance portion of the Social Security money may not be used for the “rent” payment and is not counted in the calculation.
Occasionally an individual qualifies for services on the basis of a specific disability, but does not qualify for funding because of personal financial resources (such as a large inheritance held outside of an established special needs trust). In this case the individual may come to CLC but would be required to use their personal resources to pay for the program.