Family Circle Programs Builds Ties With Community

One of the most important benefits of H.A.L.O’s Family Circle programs is the connection made with the larger community.

“The longevity [9 years] of the Sunday Swim and Sing program at Newton, MA Jewish Community Center has increased acceptance for this population of young adults with severe disabilities,” says Doreen Cummings. She is Associate Division Director of Homes and Family Support for the non-sectarian Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) of Greater Boston, which manages Family Circle for HALO.

The three-hour program provides socialization and enrichment for individuals who live at home, and respite for their families.

Just as importantly, it boosts visibility for an underserved population, Doreen said. The staff and general public has become more aware and supportive due to repeated exposure.

“We are a fixture at the JCC and see similar acceptance building in the younger program at the Stoughton, MA YMCA,” she said.

In Newton, 16 participants are supported one-to-one by the same staffer all year, for 30 Sundays. Stoughton serves 10 participants.

Family Circle also distributes a resource newsletter to more than 300 families and supports the JF&CS Disabilities Resource Network .

For information visit www.halo.org