Peanut butter and jelly. Bert and Ernie. Socks and shoes. And now Reach for Resources and Jewish Housing and Programming (J-HAP). Some partnerships just seem like a natural fit.
J-HAP’s website states, “J-HAP was formed to serve the life-long needs of adults with developmental disabilities…and allow individuals to live independently, increase self-esteem and thrive within a Jewish community that is open to all.”
Earlier this year, one of our staff members happened to be working with an individual who lives in J-HAP’s Cornerstone Creek apartment facility. While she was there, someone struck up a conversation with her about Reach and the programs we offer. As a result, a J-HAP staff member and our Director of Adaptive Recreation & Inclusion, Emily Miller, began talking about ways that Reach could offer J-HAP clients meaningful program options. J-HAP also hired a Community Engagement Director, Carrie Miller. Carrie and Emily cemented an affiliation and began this spring to host programs about once a month.
While some of the events have been specifically tailored to the 47 Cornerstone Creek “J-HAPPERS” (e.g., how to use the apartment microwaves), a goal is to bring together participants from the two groups. As Emily explains, both Reach and J-HAP are “looking at helping people expand their social networks.” Some of the other activities (karaoke, a talent show, a healthy meals class, etc.) are beginning to do just that. Many of the programs that Reach hosts with J-HAP are advertised in the Reach Reader newsletter and are open to anyone affiliated with Reach. Similarly, J-HAP is promoting Reach to its tenants.
Carrie says, “The partnership with Reach has allowed J-HAP to continue to foster independence and rely on the specific expertise of Reach professionals to teach important life skills and social opportunities.”
Both Carrie and Emily see a bright future for this collaborative effort, and everyone is welcome to register for these engaging programs. Who knows, participants might even develop new friendships, bringing about yet more great partnerships.