Choices Summer 2019 Newsletter
Community Options believes in the dignity of every person, and in the freedom of all people to experience the highest degree of self-determination. Embracing this philosophy, Community Options provides housing, support services and advocacy assistance to help empower people with disabilities. #AllItTakes
Community Options Enterprises Opens Second Flower Shop
On Wednesday, June 5th, Community Options held a ribbon cutting event for the opening of its second flower shop, Vaseful Flower & Gifts. The beautiful storefront in Princeton, NJ will primarily employ people with disabilities ensuring all employees earn minimum wage OR BETTER.
Community Options, Enterprises, (COE) was established to develop and operate entrepreneurial businesses that successfully integrate people with disabilities into the workforce. By operating businesses such as a flower shop, copy centers, and shared office facilities, COE confronts the barriers to working in community based settings instead of sheltered training centers or workshops. These businesses enhance job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. “Giving people with disabilities an opportunity to gain employment matters a great deal because people with disabilities have the ability to work,” state Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney said. “Really looking beyond the disability and looking (at) what the person is able to do is critically important to get people with disabilities into the working world.”
This store would not have been possible without the generous donation of Community Options Enterprises’ Chairman, Philip Lian and his wife, Joan Mueller. Be sure to stop by the store located at 305 Witherspoon Street in Princeton, NJ. You can also shop online at www.vasefulprinceton.com.
Vaseful flowers and gifts
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305 Witherspoon St.
Princeton, NJ 08540
Toll Free: 844-516-4141
SAVE THE DATE
Community Options’ Annual
iMatter Golf Classic
TPC Jasna Polana
4519 Province Line Rd
Princeton, NJ 08540
October 7, 2019
High School Sweethearts to Tie the Knot
Byron and Loretta, pictured sitting below, are high school sweethearts and graduates of
St. Katherine Day School in Wynnewood, PA class of 1979. Community Options has had the pleasure of providing services to them through our Supported Living Program since 2014. They live in their own apartment in the Philadelphia area and are grateful for the support they have received from Community Options over the past 5 years. They often tell their friends about their positive experience and how much they love where they live.
Byron and Loretta’s staff, Shanika, who has been working with the couple since they began with Community Options, is another contributor to their happiness. Shanika, Byron, and Loretta have developed a professional, yet trusting and cohesive relationship.
Their family often tells them how jealous they are of the prestigious neighborhood in which they live. After 30 years of being together, Byron and Loretta have recently announced they plan to get married this year!
Save The Date
Pre-Employment Transition Services Development
In additional to the organization’s successful School to Employment Program (STEP), Community Options received additional competitive contracts to teach high school students with disabilities the skills needed to be employed or attend college. Over 50 students throughout Utah, Maryland and Tennessee received classroom and real work experience.
This new federal service offers students multiple modules: work-based learning experience, job exploration, job readiness, and self-advocacy. Curriculum has been developed for each of the three classroom modules and job development takes place for trial jobs that last from two to ten weeks. Next year this service will be extended to Cookeville and Chattanooga, TN. It’s a great way for Community Options to educate students about our services and ways we can help them thrive.
Last year, Las Cruces, NM was awarded a similar contract to provide work-based learning experiences to high school students. Santa Fe, New Mexico was selected as the only agency to provide this service to public school students next school year.
iMatter Fall Golf Classic
Community Options will be hosting its annual iMatter Golf Classic this Fall on Monday, October 7th, 2019. The event will take place at the TPC Jasna Polana. All money raised will be used to support people with disabilities. For more information, or to sponsor, please contact Kimberly Schleyer at 609-951-9900 Ext. 5199 or email
4519 Province Line Road, Princeton, NJ 08540
In-Home Supports are Thriving!
This year Community Options developed an individualized service that supports people with disabilities who live alone or with their family.
These services are now available throughout the regions of Phoenix, AZ, Salt Lake City, UT, Frederick, MD, and Nashville, Chattanooga, and Cookeville, TN.
Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer Visits Community Options Children’s Home
Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer was appointed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to lead the Department of Children and Families in January 2018. She oversees the department programs that serve and safeguard the most vulnerable children and families. The state agency partners with Community Options to provide community-based housing opportunities for youths with disabilities.
We were fortunate enough to welcome Commissioner Norbut Beyer, who visited a Community Options children’s home in Hamilton, New Jersey.
Commissioner Norbut Beyer spoke about the importance of partnerships with nonprofit organizations to provide services to children with special needs. Commissioner Norbut Beyer also expressed the ongoing need in New Jersey for program options to support children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Community Options is a valued partner for the department in serving youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities and providing options in programming,” said Commissioner Norbut Beyer. “In collaboration with our state and local community partners, New Jersey continues to build a robust infrastructure of needed services for individuals with I/DD.”
Community Options currently operates three homes in Mercer County supporting fifteen youths with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The home in Hamilton, which opened in 2018, supports five adolescents. A national leader in support services to people with disabilities of all ages, Community Options also operates over 130 homes in New Jersey for adults with disabilities.
“We want to thank Commissioner Beyer for her support and advocacy,” said Svetlana Repic-Qira, Executive Vice President
for Community Options. “Understanding that there is an unmet need in New Jersey, we hope to have future partnerships with DCF to develop homes for youths with disabilities.”
Derek’s Thriving as a Customer Service Expert
Derek began working at The Home Depot in March of 2019 as a Lot Associate and quickly fell into his role. Managers expressed that Derek’s love for Home Depot and happiness was an inspiration. They could see that Derek was living the Home Depot Values, and he was awarded for it as a seasonal employee. In May, Derek was Operational Employee of the Month for the Home Depot at his location. He received this award as a seasonal associate! In June, he was hired as a permanent part-time employee.
Growth in Arizona
Community Options’ presence in Tucson, Arizona is on the rise. Within the last few months, we have been awarded the opportunity to open 3 four-person homes to support people with disabilities. We are proud to now have a total of four homes in the Tucson area.
In addition to our new homes, we are pleased to announce the opening of our first day program in the area which serves 10 individuals with disabilities. This program is geared toward providing much-needed support to the under-served area of Oro Valley. Lastly, we started a new pre-employment transition service at a local high school to help better prepare children with disabilities for employment after graduation.
A Generous Gift
Brian loves living in the Nashville area and being a member of the Community Options’ family. However, due to a spike in rent prices in the area, it quickly became clear to Brian’s parents that he and his roommate would need to find a new place to call home.
Brian’s parents quickly came up with a great idea to address the housing situation. Their idea was to purchase a beautiful, affordable home for Brian and Justin to reside. After approaching Community Options and taking the necessary steps, Brian’s parents purchased the home!
This past February, Brian, Justin, and their new roommate Jeffrey, moved into their wonderful new home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. They have enjoyed living in the home for the past five months and all three roommates have become great friends.
Community Options is very thankful to Brian’s parents for making a difference in Brian’s life and in the lives of people with disabilities.
Community Options Celebrated 30 Years of Service
Community Options celebrated 30 years of service on Thursday, May 9, 2019 with our 30th Anniversary Gala at the McCarter Theater Center Gala Tent on the campus of Princeton University. The event netted over $450,000. All funds will support the residential services, day programs, and enterprises that employ people with disabilities, high school transition programs, and specialized programs for respite and medically fragile adults.
Thank you to all who attended, sponsored, and donated towards our event. Your contributions made this event so very successful!