By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor
Program Director Edward Barnett helps get things underway as a DJ stands by. The Memorial Day holiday was celebrated early when the group home located at 318 Beach 85 Street opened its doors to neighbors and other adult programs on May 25.
The 71 studio apartment facility is home to highlevel, independent adults - some of who work and contribute to the tax base in the area said Edward Barnett, the program's director.
"People come here when they have no place to go," said David Rivera, one of the residents. "You're not here forever."
Barnett expanded on that by saying that people do leave the facility to live in their own apartments. The Wave was also told that prospective residents are screened to be part of the family. Residents have a kitchen where they do their own cooking, they are taught to budget their finances and the many other skills that will lead them to complete independence.
"Most important, we work on their self-esteem," said Barnett.
|Charles Locascio, Brenda Barretto and David Rivera pose for The Wave's camera. Barretto and Rivera were just two of the residents who helped put the day together. Barretto said, "You come to the program to get independent." Lois Romero is surrounded by her artwork, which she also sells. Romero made much of the artwork seen throughout the building. Many of those who took to the basketball court are part of the Knickerbocker program - a program for veterans. Wanda Lopez, the mental health coordinator at the group home, leads the way on the food line. A chess tournament commences as the afternoon wears on. Barnett told The Wave that he wanted to use the gathering to dismiss stigmas that are associated with people who live in such homes. |