LIVINGSTON, NJ — Our House, Inc., whose mission is to provide "healthy, stimulating, and inclusive environments for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities," will open its 17th group home for adults with disabilities and celebrate with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new home, located on Dellmead Drive in Livingston, on Thursday.
Located on a residential street, the new ADA-compliant, four-bedroom, two-bath ranch will be home to four adults with developmental disabilities. With 24-hour on site supervision, the home offers its residents a new and unique opportunity to live independently.
“At Our House, Inc., we believe that every adult deserves the chance to live independently,” said Michele DelCorsano, President and CEO of Our House, Inc. “Everybody who lives in our houses has normal household responsibilities like cooking, cleaning and laundry. These are vital life skills that lead to greater independence. At night residents are out and about as part of the greater Our House community participating in cooking classes, clubs, volunteer work, and other activities.”
According to Joe Medler, Director of Residential Services, the residents, four young men who have worked hard to gain this opportunity for independence, will have the chance to set out on their own with support and guidance from professionals, and make an independent life for themselves.
“I am very excited for the opening of the house in Livingston,” he said. “Their parents and caregivers will be able to step back after decades of round the clock care and enjoy well needed peace of mind knowing their loved one is in good hands and continuing to grow and develop a life of their own.”
The Livingston home was funded through a special partnership program between the Township of Livingston, which contributed $400,000, and the NJHMFA (New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency), which contributed $250,000. Additional funding came from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and through generous donations and grants from the community.
“We are grateful to the Township of Livingston for the opportunity for Our House to become a part of Livingston and spread our good work. We are excited to be here and to see our programs grow,” said DelCorsano. “It is our ultimate goal to open an arm of the Hope Autism Solutions program in Essex County so that we can serve a greater number of adults with special needs.”
According to DelCorsano, the Township of Livingston has been very welcoming of Our House and in May, the local Liberty Mutual office will be giving back to the organization on the company’s Community Day by coming to the house to do spring planting and spruce up the grounds.
The official grand opening of the home and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Thursday on location from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Attendees are asked to bring a jar of pasta sauce and box of ziti for donation to help support one of the causes the residents volunteer for “Ziti for the Needy,” a program run through Adult Family Services, which cooks and provides meals for those in need.
The official mission of Our House, Inc. is to provide “healthy, stimulating, and inclusive environments for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through community residences, employment services, innovative day programs, social opportunities and related support services designed to help them achieve their full potential for living meaningful and productive lives.”
The organization offers programs to individuals across New Jersey in towns including: Livingston, Maplewood, West Orange, Verona, Summit Union, Westfield, New Providence, Millington, Basking Ridge, Berkeley Heights, Bound Brook and Bridgewater.