Updated May 3, 2018
- The name is now "ArchCare at Saint Teresa";
- Asbestos removal has begun on the building;
- New move in date is summer of 2019;
- ArchCare at Saint Teresa will have a booth at the JCC of Staten Island Special Needs Resource Fair on May 11, 2018. Thanks to Senator Andrew Lanza for the support to our community,
- Applications to ArchCare at Saint Teresa will begin this summer of 2018 at the Autism Housing @ ArchCare website. Offline applications will be accepted too.
How do you implement "Self-Direction in the OPWDD System", in a residential community, and how do you make it great? ArchCare, The Continuing Care Community of the Archdiocese of New York, is converting a beautiful building at Saint Teresa Parish on Staten Island for our Special Needs population.
For those that are not familiar, "Self-Direction" is a big shift for the Developmentally Disabled community in New York State and the USA. Many parents and many agencies are concerned about these shifts of empowering individuals over institutions:
Based on personal experience from our son's after-school programs, we are big fans of "Self-Diection". We also realize that it will not be a fit for everyone, but our friends at ArchCare are giving the Self-Direction population a huge head start on Staten Island.*
The initial game plan is for:
- 10 studio apartments, each with their own kitchen and bathroom.
- There will be 2 apartments for staff and 8 for residents.
- There is an existing beautiful kitchen and dining area where residents can invite parishioners, neighbors, and friends into OUR community and we will serve them meals and entertainment!!
- The building has common areas for community events and employment programs.
- Outside independent programs and employment for residents are supported.
- Our goal is to have collaboration with GrowNYC and similar groups to have "farms" on Staten Island. :) Yes farms on Staten Island!! Ok, it is more like a small garden, but we want our population to live the "farm to table" lifestyle.
- Saint Teresa's also has a school, gym, huge common area, and the church that our population can integrate with.
- ArchCare is contributing $2.5 million in capital improvements to the former Saint Teresa's Convent building, and they are taking below market rents on a 40 year lease to match OPWDD rates.
- Target move-in date - Summer 2019.
This will be complicated, fun, and it will fill OUR lives with purpose. I am very excited by the commitment from ArchCare and the Parent's Committee, and thanks to Jackie Ceonzo of SNACK NYC for inviting me to this group. I believe that ArchCare @ Saint Teresa will be a catalyst for additional facilities in NYC and Upstate in the ArchCare system. More to follow in the coming months, and I am genuinely grateful to ArchCare's CEO Scott LaRue, Cardinal Dolan, and Monsignor William Belford of Saint Teresa's Parish.
* Dustin Sweeney will not be a resident of ArchCare at Saint Teresa, but I am very motivated to make this work for the benefit of Dustin Sweeney down the road.