Those receiving support from Community Options and their families:
“An important aspect of STEP is the social component. My son enjoys lunch daily with other participants, and practices on-the-job interactions with co-workers and staff. Participating in STEP has boosted my son’s self-esteem, independence, and confidence and job skills. He is making significant progress toward the goal of paid employment.”– Sandy S., parent of a child who is supported by Community Options. (Lawrenceville, NJ)
“STEP managers’ awareness of the importance of transition from job training to actual paid is critical. Continued participation in STEP, even while working at two part-time jobs, has been important in maintaining and enhancing Monica’s skills for career and personal growth.”– Nantanee K., parent of Monica who is supported by Community Options. (Princeton, NJ)
“Thanks to STEP, our son’s work skills have grown to the point that he is a valued staff member at his part-time paid job. In addition, his communication and social skills have improved, his confidence has increased, and he has developed a real sense of pride in a job well done. STEP has been the key to his success!”– Sally G., parent of a child who is supported by Community Options. (Location unknown)
“Wendy Mahan entered our family’s lives these last couple of months. Wendy is one beautiful human being. She is the face of your company here in Tucson. We are so proud the have Wendy as our friend and our daughter, Renee’s Caregiver. Wendy simple ROCKS. Wendy has made your company here Rock too. I really can’t put into words what she mean to us. Sir I’m, 77 years old, my wife Anita is 74. We have a daughter Renee who is 51 years old. Renee was born with birth defects. In 2004 she had a major stroke. We have had so-call caregivers for ever since. Only when Wendy arrived at our door, we found out what REAL caregiving was about. She has been a wonderful friend to us. I must say, Wendy will make families in Tucson have a heavy weight lifted off their minds. Thanks to your company for bringing her to Tucson. I believe Wendy will be a very important member in our Community. I know how proud she is of job and who she represent. Simple put – Wendy is our Mother Theresa.” – Chester C., parent of Renee is supported by Community Options. (Tucson, AZ)
“Our son Jonah, nineteen years old and diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome, has been a participant in STEP for just over a year. The program offered by Community Options has already provided him with essential vocational support and, for us, hope that he’ll achieve a level of independence that we’d almost given up on. We’ve been particularly impressed with STEP’s ability to differentiate needs among Jonah’s fellow students and craft job placements where he is both successful and learning.”– Laura and Dennis W., parents of Jonah who is supported by Community Options. (Lawrenceville, NJ) Read More Here
“As the mother of a son with physical disabilities – I appreciate the mission of Community Options, to help individuals like Jeff find a place to live as normally as possible, and a job that allows him to be a contributing member of society, which is what he and so many others like him, want.”– Judy Woodruff, anchor and senior correspondent for CNN. (Dallas, TX)
“When Daniel was at the State School, I just hated it there. Daniel was not happy and he always had to share a room with other people. His house with Community Options is more home like and I like that the staff cook meals for Daniel. I think y’all have been great.”– Juliet D., parent of Daniel D., who is supported by Community Options. (Lubbock, TX)
“Harrison is well taken care of by direct service professionals, management and nursing staff at the home. His medical therapeutic and social/recreation needs are carefully monitored by the group home staff. Staff takes Harrison to church every Sunday. Communication between management and me is excellent. I am notified of all meetings and any issues that need my attention. I am satisfied with Harrison’s overall care at the group home. At 96 years old, I can sleep well at night and am comforted in the knowledge that Harrison is happy and that his future is secure. Community Options came into my life at the right time and continues to be the right place for my grandson.”– Ruth H. of Princeton, NJ, Grandmother of Harrison, who is supported by Community Options. (Lawrenceville, NJ)
“The staff take care of my most prized possession. We have come to really love them and they are like our family now.”– Rachel S., parent of Devin S. who is supported by Community Options. (Pittsburgh, PA)
“We are so grateful to Community Options for providing our son with a safe, kind environment. Because of Community Options, he has a home in which he is cared for and always will be. Thank you for all that you do!”– Jim and Nancy T., parents of Nick T., who is supported by Community Options. (Location unknown)
“I want to tell you this is probably the best Christmas I’ve had in a very long time because my Steve is happy. He calls me at the end of every day and when I ask how work was today he says Great, Mom, Great. The company seems great, he has benefits now and received a raise and has made new friends. I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and thank you again for everything you did for getting him on the right path.”– Marie P., mother of Steve who is supported by Community Options. (Morristown, NJ)
“The boys love the program because of being able to help pick out what they do and that they think the staff are really great. The boys get out to do things they wouldn’t have the chance to otherwise and being a single parent, it makes a huge difference knowing that I’m totally comfortable taking that respite break with my children in Community Options care.”– Sue E., mother of child who is supported by Community Options. (Binghamton, NY)
“Community Options and Donna Orr have been a great help in finding me employment. I appreciate all they have done for me!”– Steve P., who is supported by Community Options. (Morristown, NJ)
“I am happy that I have the support, it has helped me keep my job. It’s really good!”– Tasha H. M., who has been an employee for 12 years. (Morristown, NJ)
“Community Options went above and beyond other agencies to help me find a job I am a good fit for.”– Domenic A. (Morristown, NJ)
“Supported Employment is an awesome program. I think they should have more programs like it. They go above and beyond for us and help us more than they think. They have brought us nothing but greatness.”– Managers at Sears. (Morristown, NJ)
“I’m happy with COI because it is mellow and much more relaxed which gives me more control over my time than my last house I was in.”– Hoover IRA individual JK (Binghamton, NY)
“I’m happy with COI because I have more freedom and chance to be more independent and reconnect with my family.”– Hoover IRA individual MW (Binghamton, NY)
“I certainly feel good about helping that organization.”– State Senator Bob Gordon, (Fair Lawn, NJ). For full article, click here.
“When you have an opportunity to diversify your town and include a program that does such tremendous good, it is always a pleasure to do so.”– Mayor Bill Steenstra (Bloomingdale, NJ). For full article, click here
“Community Options does an incredible job providing needed care to a wide range of individuals. I was impressed by their holistic and comprehensive approach — as well as their incredible passion and dedication — to helping people with disabilities lead fruitful lives.”– Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, (Moorestown, NJ). For full article, click here.
“Part of strong leadership for our State means providing new opportunities for New Jersey that make sense to both our budget and our values. I commend Community Options for empowering people with disabilities through employment and residential opportunities that make independence for people with disabilities a fiscally sound possibility.”– Senator Jon Corzine (NJ). For full article, click here.
“This issue is near and dear to my heart, so I would like to thank Community Options for showing me what they are doing to help individuals with disabilities. Community Options has an established track record of providing housing across the state, and I look forward to working with them in the future to create more options for those who wish to live independently. The services they provide are something we need to encourage and see more of across New Jersey.”– Senator Steve Sweeney (NJ). For full article, click here.
“Community Options Inc. has played a key role in empowering people with disabilities to make their own choices and enabling them to experience the highest level of independence possible, and this is just another example of the great work they do. This Community Options building is an amazing opportunity for these individuals to contribute to society and their community and I look forward to supporting more initiatives, such as this one, from Community Options Inc.”– Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (NJ). For full article, click here.
“I am so glad to have toured the Community Options group home in Princeton and to see firsthand how they are helping individuals with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives. The staff was caring and dedicated, as were the residents, who were rightly proud of the volunteer work they were able to do on behalf of the community. The Princeton community will continue to work to make housing affordable for people with disabilities.”– Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert (NJ). For full article, click here.
Community Options Staff and Employers:
“It is an honor to be invited to The White House to celebrate such tremendous accomplishments. Advocates in our field have made great advances over the past twenty years and there is much more work left to do.”– Robert Stack, President and CEO of Community Options (NJ).
“It has always been our experience that when we are able to give tours of our homes and show the quality of life that people with disabilities are experiencing as a result of living in the community, it speaks for itself,”– Robert Stack, President and CEO of Community Options (NJ). For full article, click here.
“Over three years ago my brother moved into Community Options’ first Westmoreland County, PA residence. The team of people who banded together in support of our whole family was inspiring, and I wanted to be a part of such a team. I soon began as a DSP, working my way up to Day Program Manager. It’s truly fulfilling to work for a company who is not only committed to meeting the needs of the individuals it serves but also follows through with that commitment using unending determination, unity and uplifting principles.” – Angeline Landy, Option Quest Manager (Westmoreland County, PA)
“Working with Community Options has been an unprecedented opportunity to not only enrich the lives of others, but for amazing personal growth. I am certain I have learned far more from our individuals than they have learned from me. Everyday is eye and heart opening! I have discovered empathy, compassion and patience that I did not possess previously while getting to know more about who I am and how I look at the world around me. The opportunity to discover new frontiers with consumers while greatly improving and enhancing their lives is not a job, but a life shaping experience that I am so grateful to be a part of!” – Logan Cuppy, Senior Direct Support Professional (Westmoreland County, PA)
“Our work here is truly amazing just to see lives being transformed from not having much of a community life to now being over whelmed with things to do. Last year we have received and individual from one of the state facilities who was at the time very nervous and scared and when the time came to move he didn’t want to come, but after one year later he is one of our most successful individuals here at Community Options. He now works in the community started out a couple days a week to now working pretty much full time, and he often speaks to new individuals who may be struggling with transition on how he overcame and is now as he says living the good life. I enjoy me job its one of the most rewarding jobs that i have ever had yes there are challenges but the reward out beats the challenges everyday.” – Darren Duson, Director of Residential Services (Syracuse, NY)
“In Ocean County, we support 54 people who live in homes and neighborhoods that they can call their own and are active members of the community. The dedicated, compassionate staff in the Forked River office and in the group homes work hard to ensure that all of the people we support have the best quality of life and are able to pursue their individual dreams, whatever they might be. I am proud to be able to work with such great staff and am lucky to be able to see the differences that we are making, each day, in the lives of the people we support.” – Diane D’Orazio, Executive Director (Ocean County, NJ)
“I personally enjoy the work I do for Community Options as I believe my personal values closely match up to those of the agency. Community Options is an innovative Human Service Provider Agency that believes all individuals with various abilities should have the same opportunities as you and I. They should be able to live and work and play in their communities without being treated any differently then every one else.
When I first came to New Jersey and started visiting some of the Developmental Centers I would leave and honestly sit in my car and cry as I could not believe that Human Service professionals along with Politicians and even family members could think that individuals who resided in these institution had any quality of life. It is very rewarding when you are able to meet with a family and help them understand that yes community living is different but it also has it advantages and you can show them a nice safe, clean home in a great community and offer their loved ones a private single bedroom as well as the opportunity to learn skills they never had the opportunity to learn before. When an individual becomes comfortable in their new home it is awesome to see them help themselves to drinks and snacks, to partake in developing a menu, participate in grocery shopping and help prepare the meal that they will consume with their friends.
Our mission along with my personal mission is to support our individuals in a safe and healthy environment and to make them as independent as they can possibly be so they can enjoy a happy and fulfilling life. I want them to experience the same things we experience such as gainful employment, outings with friends and families and being integrated in a safe accepting community.” – Maddie Lobban, MS Executive Director Community Options, Inc. (Burlington County, NJ)
“The American Dining Creations management team at SUNY Broome have had the privilege of working with Community Options for several semesters, and we’ve had great success with the individuals that have come to us through this organization. Several of these individuals have since been employed by the company in regular hourly positions, and they have all been great additions to our team. The staff at Community Options are very helpful, courteous and professional, and always work tirelessly to meet the needs of their clients, as well as the needs of our management team.” – Kyle Mauer, Campus Chef – American Dining Creations. (Binghamton, NY).
“Community Options, Inc. is an agency that strives to provide quality services that are person- centered and promote independence. All levels of staff work together as a team to ensure that this goal is achieved.” – Cynthia W. Barnaby, Acting Regional Vice President (New York)
“I was first introduced to the idea of Person-Centered Support years ago by a former employee of Community Options during a job interview. His passion for this idea was infectious and fueled my desire to work and support people to be the best version of themselves. Since then, I have made it part of my mission to share with everyone I come into contact with the importance of ensuring everyone has an opportunity to be an active member in their community. The staff here in the Lehigh Valley, are dedicated and work hard work to ensure each of the individuals we support have unique opportunities available to them and to be happy and successful in their daily lives. I am so grateful to have become part of an organization whose mission positively impacts the lives of so many people.” – Michele Reinert, Executive Director (Allentown, PA)
“At the home I work in, we have a wonderful, caring team who understand that while this may be our job, it is more than just a place to work. We are a part of the lives of the individuals we serve. We strive to make their home and lives a fun, active, safe, clean, and happy place. It is rewarding to see them thrive in their environment! We are always working to improve their lives and make them more enjoyable.” – Anna Richar, Sr. Community Support Staff (Drums, PA)
“I’ve always liked helping people, and it’s so rewarding knowing you helped at least one person during the day. What we do changes the lives of the people we serve and it gives them a second chance at life and being part of the community. I’ve experienced depression and anxiety, so I’m very compassionate towards what we do. I can relate to some of the struggles our individuals face and that allows me to help them using my own experiences.” – Amanda Sirkot, Program Development Specialist (Drums, PA)