Getting ready to shoot some pool

Getting ready to shoot some pool

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Getting ready to shoot some pool

Our Specialized Day Hab recently put together their new pool table at 1377 Abbott, which was purchased with a mini-grant. The group wanted to purchase a new table because the old one needed replacing and it is an activity that many of the participants enjoy. Our Specialized Day Hab Team have created lessons around the game of pool to build skills in teamwork, fairness, principle and more. The group was very excited to help put the table together and are ready to shoot some pool!

A man we support holds a piece of the pool table to help assemble it
An employee and a man we support use a drill to screw pieces of the pool table together
A DSP and two men we support help put together a pool table
A man we support moves an almost finished pool table

Celebrating the end of summer

Celebrating the end of summer

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Celebrating the end of summer

Our day programs spent the last few days of summer weather enjoying tasty treats. Our wonderful friends at Out of the Blue WNY donated ice cream treats to our day programs to help celebrate the end of summer. All of the ice cream treats were individually wrapped so everyone could enjoy them safely. Our program participants even made signs to show their thanks for the delicious desserts. Thank you Out of the Blue for bringing smiles to so many faces!

A man we support enjoys an ice cream treat
A woman we support holds up a thank you sign for the ice cream treats
A man we support gets ready to eat his ice cream bar
A man we support holds up a thank you sign

Welcoming back day programs

Welcoming back day programs

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Welcoming back day programs

In late July, we were very excited to welcome all of our friends back to our day programs!

After nearly five months of quarantine and social distancing, people were able to see their friends and staff members for the first time.

Everyone was greeted by decorative signs and balloons to welcome them back to programs. People were able to participate in fun activities, crafts and spend some time outside catching up with friends all while wearing masks and following safety guidelines.

We are so thrilled to be getting back into the swing of things and to see everyone’s faces! Thank you to our staff for getting everything prepared for our programs’ return and for continuing to follow all guidelines to ensure everyone remains healthy.

Community Hab staying active and healthy

Community Hab staying active and healthy

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Community Hab staying active and healthy

Our Community Habilitation Team is working with folks to come up with safe activities to promote active and healthy lifestyles. They have tried new recipes, putting a healthy spin on some favorite restaurant dishes, such as mock Subway sandwiches and protein pasta. Our team has also encouraged people to go on walks and visit some favorite outdoor spots such as West Falls, Canalside and the Outer Harbor. The Community Hab Team is also continuing to celebrate birthdays in a special way. Thank you to our team for coming up with creative, fun and healthy ways to stay engaged during the pandemic!

A woman we support displays the pasta she made
A woman we support holds up the gift she received for her birthday
A man we support gives the thumbs up on a healthy sub he helped make
A man we support and a DSP take a walk on a local trail
A woman we support relaxes in one of the chairs at Canalside

Encouraging safety with creativity

Encouraging safety with creativity

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Encouraging safety with creativity

One of our Southtown residences thought of a fun way to make their masks more creative. The residents recently spent a day tie-dyeing masks and t-shirts with vibrant colors and cool patterns. It’s great to see our IRAs thinking of others’ safety by wearing masks while also showing off their artistic skills and having fun!

A man we support tie dyeing a mask
A group of people we support showing off their tie dyed masks and shirts
A frontline employee helping a woman we support tie dye a mask

An educational journey

An educational journey

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An educational journey

Two women smile at the camera, with one holding a certificate

Prior to social distancing and quarantine, we had 11 students earn their certifications in Guest Room Attendant through our curriculum at our Jefferson Career Exploration Center. One of the students shared her experience:

My name is Octavia. I am a student at The Service Collaborative of WNY Inc. (TSC), and have earned three certifications in the hospitality courses at Community Services. I would like to tell you a little bit about my educational path.

I first started off my 9th grade year at Riverside High School. I got in a lot of trouble there, skipping classes, missing school, etc. Then I just stopped going altogether. It took me a year to realize that I needed to go back to school and continue my education. I wasn’t planning on starting at TSC, but it was the best choice I have ever made in my life.

The teachers and staff are so loving and caring to me. It was nothing like regular high school. There are so many benefits, such as being offered the hospitality trainings at Community Services. It is one of my favorite things about continuing my education.

I have learned so many new skills through the hospitality trainings. So far I have received my Restaurant Server Certification and banquet training, Guestroom Attendant Certification, and Front Desk Certification. Being able to finish my certification during the quarantine was challenging but also helpful. It kept me busy and helped me to continue achieving my goals.

I am now working on my Guest Services Certification. These certificates may not seem like a lot to some people, but for me it has proved that I can do a lot more than I thought I could. There were so many times I wanted to give up but I realized that in the long run it was all going to be worth it.

My experience at Community Services has been the best I could ask for. Not only do I love my teacher, Ms. Joelle, but I love everyone there and the warm environment. When I first met Ms. Joelle I could tell she was going to be a great teacher. The way she taught us everything, it wasn’t only educational but also fun in her own ways. I am sad that the Guest Services Certification will be my last course with her.

My overall dream job goal would be to be a registered nurse. I really think that the courses with Ms. Joelle will help me achieve this goal by learning the soft skills needed to work in a professional field, teamwork, and learning what hard work can help me achieve. I know that these skills will help me become better at what I do.

I really would like to thank TSC and Community Services for always helping me and continuing to be there for me when I need them.

 

– Octavia