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Federation Helps Maximize Independence for Adults With Special Needs

December 31, 2013 By:
Michael Czarnomski, JF Feature
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Tikvah House brings hope and independence to adults with special needs.

In 2000, several members of the Jewish community who had family members confronting mental health challenges came together to organize a residential environment where their loved ones could live in the community, as independently as possible, with the support — from each other and from professionals — necessary to help them achieve that goal. Today, Tikvah Residence is an eight-unit apartment building in Drexel Hill whose residents take responsibility for their own apartments, while supporting each other through social activities, residents’ meetings and holiday celebrations.

Now, a $30,000 grant from the Jewish Federation of Great­er Philadelphia’s Center for Social Responsibility is making it possible for Tikvah Residence to work with JEVS Human Services to increase substantially the level of professional support to the residents. Brian Gralnick, director of Federation’s Center for Social Responsibility, lists case management, self-sufficiency and vocational development as well as facilitating social opportunities among the services that JEVS will be providing.

Judy Zon, one of the found­ers of Tikvah Residence and its current president, adds that counseling hours have increased substantially, one staffer has been trained in facilitating social opportunities, and a nurse will be coming in to make sure residents adhere to medication regimens and keep medical appointments.

Gralnick expects this to be “the start of more strategic partnerships between JEVS and Tikvah Residence”; and he notes that this grant “represents an expansion of Federation’s support for individuals with special needs.”

“This Federation grant really helped us expand services desperately needed by the residents,” says Zon. “We can’t thank Federation enough for helping us out. I’m so relieved at how much is getting done and looking forward to see what happens next!”

 To learn more about Tikvah Residence, please visit: www. tikvahresidence.org. For more information about resources for community members with special needs, contact Linda Roth of Federation’s Jewish Information and Referral Service at 215-832-0822.

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