‘Sheltering Arms NY’ Gives Formerly Institutionalized Adults New Life Direction


*Just in time for the new year, Sheltering Arms NY officially opened the doors to its ninth and newest home for developmentally disabled adults in the Bronx on February 8th, 2016. The home, located at 2749 University Avenue, Bronx, NY 10463, is now home to 12 adults (five women and seven men) with developmental disabilities, many of whom are experiencing the freedom and fulfillment of living in a non-secure home where they can go out into the community for the first time in their lives.

Residents at the Sheltering Arms home previously lived in more restrictive State facilities under the auspices of the New York State Office for People with Development Disabilities (OPWDD). Sheltering Arms has answered the call of State and local agencies to create community-based, residential alternatives to these secure facilities. 

Sheltering Arms believes that every person should be given the opportunity to achieve his or her functional, social and intellectual potential. As such, the care provided at the home is tailored to each individual’s needs, challenges, and strengths. The adults referred to Sheltering Arms facilities have severe to moderate physical and mental disabilities that require compassionate, 24-hour specialized attention which their families may not have the resources to provide on their own. Families of developmentally disabled residents value the atmosphere of acceptance, warmth and security at Sheltering Arms in contrast to secure institutions.

 “The move to our facility represents an incredible change in the quality of life for developmentally disabled adults. These men and women have their own rooms for the first time in their lives. They are given access to their communities and opportunities to contribute to the best of their abilities, regardless of their disabilities. Social interaction, agency, learning – these are basics which all people deserve, and we are opening doors in those areas for a group of very vulnerable people,” says Angela Medina-Braddox, Director of Development Disability Services (DDS). 

Hanging Out at the Kitchen Table
Male residents hanging out in the kitchen

Sheltering Arms homes offer residents choice and voice, no matter how severe their disability may be. At every opportunity, staff promotes independence, inclusion, integration and productivity for residents. For several residents, this means the opportunity to have their own unsupervised apartments connected to the home where they may graduate after demonstrating self sufficiency in the group setting.

Staff is on-site 24 hours per day to facilitate peer interaction and provide consistent daily activities in the home and the community. A daily curriculum of skill learning and recreational activities are also part of the program as well as regular sightseeing trips to some of New York’s attractions.

The goal for many of the residents living at the home is integration back into the community without restrictions. For others, the goal is simply to provide a permanent, safe and comforting refuge where they will continue to learn new skills and advance intellectually. The home is now one of nine residential home programs created by Sheltering Arms NY throughout the Bronx and Manhattan.

Female residents enjoying a happy moment.
Female residents enjoying a happy moment.

Sheltering Arms’ expert service is built on 40 years of experience, after first responding to the city’s dire need for progressive and humane care for adults with developmental disabilities in the mid-70s.  In 1975 they opened their first Intermediate Care Facility (ICF), eventually expanding to operate six residential homes and two day habilitation programs. Today they provide a rich quality of life for more than 60 individuals with developmental disabilities

 “We are proud to be a reliable partner for state and local agencies and help lead efforts to deinstitutionalize facilities for the developmentally disabled. High need adults deserve every opportunity to grow and succeed, and we are able to provide some of the best opportunities for adults in our communities, as well as children and families in each of our programs across the city,” adds Elizabeth McCarthy, CEO of Sheltering Arms.

 About Sheltering Arms 
Sheltering Arms strengthens the education, wellbeing, and development of high-need children and families across the New York metro area. We serve nearly 20,000 people a year from the Bronx to Far Rockaway. Through compassion, innovation, and partnership, we respond to our community’s greatest needs and enable individuals to reach the greatest heights of their potential.

 For additional information about the Sheltering Arms home, contact Queen Publicity at (310) 849-3820 or e-mail[email protected] or contact Kathryn Klopp, Director of Marketing, Sheltering Arms at 212-886-5682 or email at[email protected].  For information about Sheltering Arms NY visit shelteringarmsny.org.

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