NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts (SNT) that can make dramatic improvements to the lives of people with disabilities while enabling individuals to maintain eligibility for public benefits programs, such as Medicaid and SSI. For 2019, NYSARC Trust Services was proud to fulfill $2,933,000 in grants to The Arc New York Chapters statewide.
Behavioral Specialist James Haaven visited our programs last year for an annual Review on our Cornerstone Program. While at Mountain Lake Services, he recommended a more structured agenda in the area of Recreation. This recommendation was perfectly timed as many opportunities came to the forefront at once. Clinical Director Sarah Louer, in conference with Executive Director Marty Nephew, moved on a number of these fronts and expanded the recreation idea to serve not only one program, but all of the agency. Jeff Farnsworth was brought on board as a Therapeutic Recreational Coordinator. Jeff is a long-time staff member who has worked in many programs over his eight years at Mountain Lake Services. Behavioral Specialist and Artist Spring Carson took on a new role as Recreational Therapist. The NYSARC TRUST FOUNDATION, a grant which has provided our agency with generous monies for recreation over the past eight years, provided $15,000 for the year’s recreational support. All of these factors brought about a happy confluence in recreational activity.
Jeff and Spring are hoping to not only reenergize the Carriage House at Lord Road for fun activities, but also to include the Lord Road day habilitation site in hosting artistic and other group activities. Lord Road has recently changed its status from a day habilitation site to an open setting. Jeff Farnsworth reports, “I’d like to keep the kitchen active at Lord Road so that we can offer activities to span the lunch hour.” One idea Jeff and Spring have for this site is to bring in a yoga instructor to offer classes in exercise and mindfulness on a regular basis. “I’ve already purchased the mats,” says Jeff. Spring Carson hopes to provide a rich spectrum of art classes at the site -- “sip and paint” workshops, fabric art classes, and more. Incentive punch cards will be used to help reinforce interest in our people’s trying out new potential hobbies. A Recreation Newsletter and a Recreation Catalogue will be created to note events happening both within the agency and in the community.
In Director Louer’s words, “When people are busy, adverse behaviors decline.” It is felt that there is great untapped artistic potential within many of our folks at Mountain Lake Services. Art is a marvelous tool for self-expression and this may just be the time for great work to surface.