Minutes – Post 21 Club General meeting
All members introduced themselves and Larry gave a short intro on the Post 21 Club and its work to create choices in supports and services for the adult Autism community; he did this especially for members joining us at a meeting for the first time. Several members will be having their adult children join the FHAADP in summer/fall 2014.
We are currently in Week 2 of a 6-week pilot “social enrichment” program which is being funded by a grant that Post 21 Club received. We had 15 of 16 “seats” filled immediately, so at least initially the interest level from the FHAADP families was high. The pilot appears to be going well and features yoga, music instruction, karaoke, socialization while watching movies, etc. The participants are getting acclimated to the activities and appear to be having a good time. It was noted that, as run currently, this is an expensive program, however, the P21 Board needs to determine what works and what doesn’t so that we may plan for a potential full time program.
FH and cost of the FAAADP:
Our families who attend the FHAADP are fortunate in that FH asks for the same amount of funding from everyone for the Day program ($16,480.00) whether or not the families have this budget or a higher one. Thus far, the extra DDD funding for non-“Day Habilitation” activities (Either $5K, $10K or $15K) has not been released yet.
In the past, P21 Club general has run two yearly functions – the “Cook-Off” (usually held in Dec./Jan. – led by Nancy and Harvey Leeds), and the Spring Fundraiser specifically for the FH Adult Autism Day program (usually held in April). Post 21 Club will hold another fundraiser this year, Thursday evening, June 19 in Cranbury NJ…..address. It will be a concert featuring the Salome Orchestra.
Crowdfunding – a type of internet-based fundraising, whereby the for-profit or non-profit organization collects small $$ from lots of people from all over who are interested in a cause. We have actually used this type of fundraising on a small scale for the “Cook-Off”. Larry would like to leverage this type of fundraising to secure larger $$$$ so that we can do more to create supports and services for adults with ASD.
Larry brought to our attention that we now have a “Blog” on our website. Potentially, this blog can be used as a clearing house of resource information (informational website blog) for the families of young adults with ASD after they age out of the school system. E.g., if a family has a question on some specific need or service they want to know more about, they could get answers from other families who answer and communicate with them through this blog…
We need to create good and reliable content, and have credibility and accountability for the information presented. We would need to develop it among ourselves, police it to ensure the information is correct and up to date, and then advertise it/get it out to the general public. Possibly use Twitter to spread this to the general public when ready. (It was noted that if we set up “#post21club#” with Twitter, users can connect to the Post 21 Club site immediately..)
The model that we have seen of late is Bergen United Way (led by Tom Toronto) setting up residential homes in towns that have expressed interest; the homes are fashioned to meet the needs of the population in that town. Crescent Commons (Allendale, NJ) is designed for individuals who don’t need as many supports as our Adults with ASD. The Ramsey group home is designed better for our adults with ASD. It is important that the mayor of the town “buy into” having this type of facility, as they are able to help secure the land needed.
Following up on Ryan’s suggestion last month, we will reach out to Community Access Unlimited, who provides a number of supports and services to the special needs and youth-at risk populations in Union County. They also supply Support Coordination to those outside of Union County and we want to see if they can help our families. They may also have insights into finding and securing housing for our population
Since this meeting we have set up CAU to come and give a seminar at our June General Meeting – Wed. June 25 at 7:30 PMat the CAPE Center.
1) Set up a tour for P21 members to see the Ramsey group home
2) Nancy and Leslie W. to meet with the Mayor of Haworth to discuss group homes in their town.
3) Larry to set up a meeting with a Crowdfunding expert to discuss how to leverage this type of fundraising better for P21
4) Lee to invite CAU to a P21 General meeting – hopefully for June – DONE
5) Larry to work with Richie to do further updates on our Website – in progress
Other upcoming events/info of interest:
- May 31 – Open house from 1 – 4 PM for the FHAADP at the FH Hackensack site – 125 Atlantic Street, Hackensack
- June 1 – FH Walk to support NJ Friendship House
- One of our members shared information on a Doctor (Internal medicine) who understands the special needs/Autism community:
Dr. Alicia Skarimbas – 370 Grand Ave. Englewood, NJ 07631 201-567-3370