JESPY House has so much to offer and the facilities are limited. We must have the tools to serve all – no matter economic or social status. Our son, Ari, has done a great deal in his life because of JESPY’s help. Others should benefit from JESPY, too. I know this must be done. It’s time to move this vision forward.
– Sophia Gershman, Board Member and JESPY Parent
There’s that moment when you know that you can do it. You’ve observed, studied, and practiced over and over. It is time to fly on your own. Perhaps it was when you first drove your family car solo? Or, when you moved into your own apartment?
Owen* turned to his case manager and said: “I’m ready.” He had mulled the idea over in his mind for months. “I’m ready to live in my own apartment. I know I can do it!” His case manager told him about JESPY’s young adult housing where Owen would learn the skills he needed to live on his own: cleaning, money management, and living responsibly. He imagined himself coming in from work, sitting back on his sofa, and watching the NBA playoffs. He was home.
We all have walked our own path to independence. Parents always worry about their children when they go off on their own. JESPY is there to help our clients and their families make these transitions together.
Henry* loved his family, but he worried that they didn’t really see him. His family always worried about taking care of him, but never considered what he wanted. He wanted to live on his own one day! Then, Henry and his family found JESPY. As Henry developed skills and became more secure in his abilities, so did his family. It wasn’t easy at first, but they all grew together. Now, Henry travels on JESPY trips, goes to the movies with friends, and manages his own money. His family has developed confidence in how Henry lives independently, and they have all grown even closer!
Our lives are filled with so many firsts that lead us to new paths for the rest of our lives. Remember that first job? First love? First apartment?
JESPY clients experience so many firsts with us that forever shape the way they see themselves and their community.
Rachel* was nervous coming to JESPY. She saw clients walking around town, socializing with friends, and working at local jobs. Could she do this, too? It all seemed too big. So, she took small steps. She started by working with a case manager on how to use public transportation and her work readiness counselor on how to develop employment skills. Then, she found her first job! Now, years later, she’s received awards for being an exceptional employee. She plans menus with her housemates. She goes to Zumba class to stay in shape. She is thrilled to be living her life on her own terms.
Exposure to new experiences not only expands our world view, but also changes how we see ourselves and what we can accomplish. Perhaps that trip to the US Open led you to working on your backhand over and over again until you could join your middle school tennis team?
At JESPY, Stanley* loved exploring South Orange and discovered the bocce courts just behind our local duck pond. Bocce evolved from interest to passion. Stanley, who didn’t think of himself as a serious athlete, transformed into an award-winning bocce player and received a coveted invitation to compete in the highly competitive National Special Olympics.
As we grow older, we often have to make choices about the supports we need, where we live, and how we can keep our independence.
Edith* was feeling everyday aches and pains more and more. She started using a walker. She needed to keep track of more medications and had difficulty keeping up her apartment. It was time to make a change. South Orange has been her home for over 30 years and she doesn’t want to leave. Moving into JESPY’s aging in place housing has made life easier, continued independence possible, and staying in her community a reality.
*Names changed to protect client privacy.