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It’s a fear for almost any parent, “What would happen if I was no longer able to take care of my child?” Parents of children with disabilities in HeartShare Human Services’ care, know this fear all too well. But with the services that HeartShare offers, parents feel significantly more comfortable contemplating that question.
Destiny is a participant in HeartShare’s Brooklyn Day Habilitation Program in downtown Brooklyn. She spends much of her time there on her art, and her pieces have been exhibited in ArtShare shows throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. Destiny’s mother, Deborah, has seen her daughter continue to grow at the Day Habilitation Program. “She’s learned a lot about patience and is becoming more understanding,” Deborah shared. As a mother, Deborah has also feared what might happen to her child when she can no longer serve as a primary caretaker, “There will be a time when mother closes her eyes… HeartShare teaches you how important guardianship is,” she said.
Destiny with her mother, Deborah, at the Brooklyn Day Habilitation Program.
The Hoffman Day Habilitation Program, located in Woodside, Queens, is where one may meet the “Princess of Hoffman,” Jodi. She wasn’t able to walk on her own before coming to Hoffman, but now she can use a walker to get where she wants to. She is non-verbal, but has her own way of communicating with HeartShare employees, which they take the time to understand. “She hums when she eats good food, she claps when she’s happy… they each know Jodi’s language,” shared Jodi’s father, Aubrey. The Hoffman Day Habilitation Program staff communicates with Jodi’s parents frequently to let them how Jodi is and always asks them what else they can do for Jodi. “They’ve changed our future… We worry less knowing they are taking care of her. Their professionalism and deep care puts our minds at ease,” said Aubrey.
Jodi with her parents at the Hoffman Day Habilitation Program.
HeartShare Board Member, Joe Benfante, has a son that lives at the Attardi Residence in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. His name is Joey. Joey has been with HeartShare for over 30 years and will be participating in NYC’s Five Boro Bike Tour on May 6th. Joey has learned to be quite independent throughout his time with HeartShare’s Community Habilitation Services, and he is capable of taking care of himself. “They give him experience. If I die,I know he’ll be able to have a life,” shared Joey’s father.
HeartShare Board Member, Joe Benfante.
With employees that care, services that promote independence, and valuable life skill lessons, the parents of those in care of HeartShare feel assured that, with or without them, their child will be in good hands.