Summary of support group meeting held October 11, 2013 Guest speaker: David Sommers, Business Manager, New Beginnings at Joey’s Place, LLC. A support group meeting was held at the Hickory Corner Road branch of Mercer County Public Library in East Windsor, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Friday, October 11, 2013.
This meeting was primarily devoted to a presentation by David Sommers, Business Manager, New Beginnings at Joey’s Place. Web site: http://www.newbeginningsatjoeysplace.com New Beginnings at Joey’s Place is a new day program that is expected to be open for business before the end of 2013 in Neptune. David provided brochures and folders with detailed program information for each of the attendees at this meeting. The entire Neighbours community will soon be receiving notification of the Grand Opening/Open House. The program’s founder is Angela Di Taranto, mother of Joey, who is also doing self- directing through Neighbours. Angela and David are putting together a very ambitious and creative program. Please see the web site above for details. Joey’s Place will be DDD-contracted, and will include many opportunities for wholesome, physical activity. The program plans to accommodate up to 85 clients over the age of 21, with a staff to client ratio of 1:6. The facility itself is a 12,000 sq. ft. building, with a separate dining hall. Joey’s Place will not be limited only to clients on the autism spectrum, and can accommodate up to Level 3 Behaviors. Some of the features of Joey’s Place include: An indoor swimming pool and inground trampoline Access to a local farm where clients can work with animals and acquire new skills Music therapy Before/after program (especially helpful for parents who work) Opportunities to do volunteer work (and acquire job skills) Respite care Weekend programs Field trips and recreational activities Regular consultations with behavioral specialist Summer camp Livestream video (except in the swimming pool), so parents can see their child while he ! is in program Able to accommodate Asperger’s clients Joey’s Place is wheelchair-accessible, but is not able to accept medically fragile clients. There will be no nurse on the premises. Eventually Joey’s Place hopes to be able to offer residential placements in group homes. AWESOME!