At the heart of JESPY House is independence. Nestled in South Orange, New Jersey, JESPY was founded 45 years ago by a group of parents dedicated to ensuring that adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, had a place to live, learn, grow, and experience a sense of personal freedom and equality like other young adults. Today, this mission, is more important than ever.

With decades of accomplishments, JESPY now looks to the future. All of our programs are highly sought after. Day Program clients long to live in their own apartments. Older clients, needing additional supports and facing escalating rents, worry that they will have to leave JESPY.

JESPY has received increased demands for our programs and services, both locally and nationally. We must continue to meet the current and future needs of our clients and keep up with best practices and trends in our field.

A salmon and asparagus dish by one of the competing chefs.

Go Big for JESPY means...

Taking bold steps to respond to our clients’ needs. 

Ensuring the continued sustainability of the organization. 

Keeping our community vibrant and honoring our mission.


JESPY's Impact

JESPY clients have varying needs at different life stages. Our clients fall into three main categories: “young adult” (18 to 25 years), “middle adult” (26 to 50), and “older adult” (51 to 75+).

JESPY clients participate in hundreds of programs that respond to their evolving interests, needs, and life stages. Our highly-skilled and dedicated staff combine their expertise with their knowledge of clients to develop customized programming. JESPY’s staff training and high staff retention rate help us provide continuity for our clients.

Clients develop their own personal relationships and sense of community. They build long-lasting friendships, and some clients marry.





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


Click on the images below to read about how JESPY House has changed client lives by advancing independence.

Together for Independence
Developing Confidence

From First to Forever
Life on Their Own Terms

Discovering Your Potential
Exploring New Passions

Go Big for JESPY House Committee

Judy Peskin, Honorary Chair

Stacey Davis, Co-Chair

Sophia Gershman, Co-Chair

Ahadi Bugg-Levine

Palisa Kelley

Barry Knopf

Alison Lewis

Jonathan Myers

Julia Plotnick

We Can. We Must. We Will.

JESPY House is flourishing and positioned for our next chapter. Clients have remained part of JESPY for decades. Programs have expanded to keep up with clients’ interests. Local employers hire and value JESPY clients. Families have peace of mind knowing that JESPY will be there for their loved ones.

Now is the time for us to move forward together. We are expanding our programming and services and are creating more opportunities for our clients to live in a community that encourages diversity and embraces the values of JESPY House.

With your support, JESPY’s goals are attainable. Gifts of confidence pave the way for the next generation of JESPY clients and families. Together, we will ensure that each JESPY client will realize their independence far into the future.

Join us!

JESPY client Roger B. works at a marketing/communications company.
Client Chris C. learned on-the-job skills at a local clothing shop.
Client Jessica M. helps with packaging food items at the MEND food pantry.

About JESPY House

JESPY House: A Community Based Mission

In 1978 JESPY House was established in South Orange, New Jersey with a mission to advance independence for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). Started by our visionary founders who felt that adults with I/DD deserved an inclusive community where they could learn to live independently, JESPY has grown from first serving 4 clients to now serving 260 adults clients ages 18 and up.

JESPY’s whole-life services promote choice, self-direction and provide for our clients in every facet of their lives.Our much-needed services include residential options, clinical and behavioral health services, engagement and enrichment activities, athletics and fitness, case management, daily life skills training, vocational services, and an aging-in-place initiative.

JESPY House is located at 102 Prospect Street in South Orange, NJ.

We continue to offer more than 100 weekly programs that sustain and build upon social and cognitive connections allowing for skill-building, the learning of new hobbies, and the chance to meet new friends.

You are the difference!
Go Big for JESPY paves the way for the next generation of JESPY clients.

For more information, contact Amy Engel at 973-762-6909 or