For the past several months, Little Friends has been in the process of renovating the new facility that will house our adult programming. With the construction work being completed and the move scheduled to occur during the last week of August, we are ready for the next steps in our journey to provide services to adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and autism.
Our program that has been operating in Downers Grove will now be in Warrenville. The new space will include beyond the normal group and individual activity areas a new art studio and entertainment lounge for adults to socialize and enjoy each other’s company. Having all our programs together is exciting given we have operated apart for nearly 50 years!
With the opening of the new space comes opportunities to expand on the services we provide in the community. For the past several months, we have been working on developing resources for individuals whose needs are less significant with the intent of helping these individuals gain employment in a community setting. Targeted at an age group between 18 and 35 years old, our hope is to provide experiential learning and services that bolster self-confidence through other supports that enable individuals to work comfortably in community opportunities.
As part of our planning efforts, we have been evaluating best practices that are being used across the country. While some things are in process, one solution we will be utilizing involves Virtual Reality to help individuals explore career opportunities and, should there be interest, provide additional training that can supplement what might be needed for a specific job.
Specific jobs in manufacturing, automotive, Public Safety, Hospitality, Skilled Trades, and Warehousing/Storage are all part of what individuals can explore with this technology. These opportunities by no means represent all that we will be looking to offer in terms of support, but they are an exciting representation of what we hope to make possible.
We are excited to put this initiative into play in the coming months. We know from conversations with both individuals and their families that support after age 22 is limited for those we hope to serve, and because of this believe that we can be of help.
Be on the lookout for more information as our program takes root over the next few months.
Update, Sept. 26, 2023 / Little Friends mSept. 22, 2023
According to this date’s email blast, everyone is settling into new spaces and routines at our Adult Day Services program site in Warrenville now that the program move from Downers Grove is complete. The new building provides an environment that allows our Adult Day Services program to continue to emphasize elements of a meaningful day and a flourishing life. Focus on recreation, skill acquisition, community integration, self-advocacy, social-emotional skill refinement, access to novel experiences, and other engaging activities will now happen in this large open space.
Areas for games, gatherings, and learning can be found in the Activity Center, to be dedicated to long-time Little Friends Board Member Dan Casey later this year. A lounge and a music area for karaoke and dance parties have also been included to encourage social activities. Inklude Art Studio has a bright space with a bay of windows allowing for natural light, more creative space for different art mediums, and a large display area just waiting to be filled.
For more info with lots of photos, visit Little Friends website.