Department for Persons with Disabilities offers Saturday program

| 04 Sep 2012 | 11:48

— The Department for Persons with Disabilities, a Catholic Charities agency in the Diocese of Paterson and based in Oak Ridge, is launching an exciting, new program designed specifically for developmentally disabled young adults, ages 21 to 39, interested in weekend socialization and recreational activities with peers. Saturdays at the Center Program (SATC) will also include education about group home living.
This program is designed to address the needs of young adults living in the community who may not have access to other recreational, social and educational opportunities. The program will provide an excellent opportunity for respite time for caregivers of the participating individuals as the project is well supervised by experienced staff and volunteers.
SATC will meet on Saturdays at the Gruenert Center on Route 15 in Lake Hopatcong, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will run in 12-week sessions. Gruenert Center is minutes away from the nearby Rockaway Mall and many area restaurants. Care givers of participants are encouraged to feel secure leaving their loved ones in the capable hands of the SATC program staff and take advantage of the four hours of leisure time the program will provide. SATC is seeking interested participants and volunteers for a start date of Sept. 15, 2012.
Some of the program opportunities will include bowling and movies in the community, holiday socials, swimming and a BBQ at the agency’s indoor pool facility, a tour of a group home and supervised apartment living setting and a luncheon with some of the agency’s current residents.
Leslie Evans of Oak Ridge said she is thrilled to be enrolling her son David in DPD’s Saturdays at the Center Program.
“I love that David now has a program to go to on Saturdays," said Evans. "He looks forward to the activities and the fun places he visits. It's hard to find activities that a 26-year-old special needs person will enjoy. It’s exhausting trying to be both the caregiver and the entertainer. After many years of searching for recreational activities, this program has answered my prayers. It’s very difficult to be both the parent and the friend. I am happy that my son will have others besides me to enjoy activities with.”
For further information about the program, contact Doreen Cook-Wottring, DPD agency behavior analyst, at 973-935-0887 or