First Annual Mental Health Resource and Educational Fair at Cooley Dickinson Hospital

Star Light Center will be participating in the First Annual Mental Health Resource and Educational Fair at Cooley Dickinson Hospital on Saturday, May 3rd from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Please stop by our table to learn more about HRU’s mental health programs and services!

Mardi Gras at Star Light Center

Star Light Center celebrated Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday last week and held a Mardi Gras themed party during lunch hour. The Mardi Gras queen rode around on a decorated float and gave out candy and bead necklaces while we listened to Jazz music. Lunch was chicken gumbo and bread pudding. Can you guess who the Mardi Gras queen was…?

SL fat tuesday

A Holiday Donation!

During the Holiday season, the Lighthouse members and staff realize the importance of giving. For the 2nd straight year, Lighthouse members and staff have donated toys, coloring books, puzzles, games, gift cards, and other items to the Shriner’s Hospital. The gift drive, led by member Shaunelle Smith, was started to help the children at Shriner’s have a memorable holiday season. The first year, the Lighthouse gathered a full box of toys and delivered them by hand. Shaunelle, Coco as she is known at the club, posed for a picture with the donations that is proudly displayed in the Outreach Unit. This year, 2 boxes of toys were collected and again Coco led the efforts, encouraging everyone at the Lighthouse to participate. The donations were received with great enthusiasm by the Shriner’s staff and Coco felt great about the entire club’s efforts. When asked why this is important for Coco to do, she stated “to make the children feel happy. My brother is part of Shriner’s and I always wanted him and the others to be happy and that they have what they need.” Coco’s generosity is greatly valued and her willingness to help others is infectious. We are so proud to be a part of this and to have a member taking the lead in such an important activity.

HRU Opens New Office in Connecticut

HRU’s Workforce Alternatives program began providing services in Connecticut on December 1, 2013.  We are working with the Department of Rehabilitation Services/Bureau of Rehabilitation Services in the Northern Region and are contracted to provide assessments, education and training, job placement and employment supports to individuals with disabilities. Our new office is located at 641 Farmington Ave., 3rd Floor, Hartford, CT.  Over the past month we’ve been meeting with members to assist them in reaching their employment goals.  We have also been meeting with employers and community leaders to develop new partnerships.  We are excited to be expanding our programs to Connecticut and look forward to providing services in this area.

Forum House Hosts Coffee with Mayor Knapik

Mayor Knapik

WHEN:

Monday, October 7, 2013

8 am to 9 am

WHERE:

forum

                                             The Forum House
                                            55 Broad Street

westfield                     Westfield, MA 01085

  The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce invites you to have coffee with Mayor Knapik in a very informal setting.  Please join us to hear first-hand from Mayor Knapik   about key issues and to get an update on construction projects. The mayor also welcomes any questions or concerns you may have.

The coffee hours are free, informative and open to the public, so come and join us!

To register please call Pam Bussell at the Chamber office 413.568.1618 or email her at gro.zibdleiftsewnull@ofni.

Odyssey: (n) a long and eventful journey.

Let us introduce ourselves.  We are Odyssey House, one of HRU’s newest clubhouse modeled Programs, located in Holyoke.  Since our opening on July first, we have been working very hard to develop our program and to establish ourselves in our community… It has truly been an odyssey.  Throughout the past two and a half months, we have spent a great deal of time working with our members to create a fun, exciting, work focused environment.  We have been focusing on the strengths, talents and abilities of our members, while sending a consistent message of “you can.” Our members have taken a lead role in the development of our different departments, our policies, and organizing our clubhouse space. This has been a very exciting time for all of us.

Over the next month, Odyssey House staff and members will be reaching out to our local community to promote our program and to get our name out there.  We have scheduled a number of businesses, agencies, and politicians to come in and tour Odyssey house this fall, including our Mayor, who will be visiting with us twice this month!  Also, our open house on October 11th is expected to be well attended.  Odyssey house colleagues are eagerly looking forward to continuing on our journey of providing high quality recovery based services in the greater Holyoke area.

Urban Gardening at Pyramid

Pyramid Project is constantly looking for ways to be a part of the community while promoting a company-widehealth and wellness initiative.  We researched a variety of ways to get involved in our community and to get healthy doing it, and urban gardening hit the spot!  Not only was it a way to get us involved in some serious skill-building, it was an amazing path to take in order to get connected to our community in a real way.

We began our urban gardening project by connecting with Christ Presbyterian Church, Springfield in March of 2012.  We exchanged ideas and before we knew it, we had a beautiful piece of land to use to activate our newly acquired organic living knowledge.  We learned how to cultivate the land through speaking to community organizers with farming expertise and during this process we reaped something memorable and worth-while!  Besides gaining some serious agricultural know-how, several of our folks became stronger health-wise: several individuals lost weight, improved their stamina, and worked on some of their individual goals while gaining an understanding of the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables (free of harsh chemicals and pesticides!).

Pyramid Project, a program of Human Resources Unlimited, provides day habilitation services to individuals with developmental disabilities.  Our mission is to engage each member in an activity to increase their skill base while encouraging active engagement that is stimulating and enjoyable. Urban gardening, as stated previously, was a good way to address skill areas (according to individual needs’ assessments) such as gross and fine motor dexterity development, community orientation and mobility, competence in survival and interpersonal/social interaction while getting involved in the community in a meaningful way.

It was truly a success: so great was the overall betterment of our program, it became a no-brainer that we continue this venture into 2013.  Individuals participating continue to grow and experience a successful venture.

Hello from Berkshire Pathways

Berkshires PathwaysHello everyone, and let us be the first to introduce you to Berkshire Pathways! We are the newest HRU clubhouse, situated in beautiful downtown Pittsfield. We’d like to share with you all the work we’ve been doing recently at our brand new location. So far things have been very exciting! Our members have been as eager to learn about us as we are to learn about them, a great combination that has given to a lot of new great connections. We recently came across an amazing opportunity for our members and staff alike, in the form of a local garden in rural Pittsfield called the “Giving Garden.” We brought several interested members to plant some late season vegetables which was a great learning opportunity for all. We can’t wait until next spring to begin really “growing our roots” and having quite a bit of land to take care of. Otherwise, our members have been all over- we’ve done community days, celebrated birthdays, played with kittens, and planned for karaoke and picnics. Our numbers are always growing and members are being patient as we settle in to our location, yet they are always willing to lend a hand and give their thoughts on all our new policies. Despite all the rapid changes, we have had a lot of great memories already, making us all feel that we can work together to make this our new home. We look forward to being around for a long time, and we hope to give you more great updates soon!      The Berkshire Pathways Members and Staff

HRU participates in United Way’s Day of Caring

HRU’s Star Light Center and Forum House programs will participate in United Way’s Day of Caring event being held on Friday, August 30th.  Approximately 20 volunteers will be working with our two programs throughout the day on painting and landscaping projects to help improve the appearance of each program inside and outside.  We appreciate the opportunity to participate in this wonderful community event and look forward to working with our project volunteers to make our programs look better for our members and our communities!

Thank you United Way!

Walk Across America

 hru     hne

 

 Walk Across America

Human Resources Unlimited and Health New England are partnering to bring the Walk Across America program to HRU! This innovative walking program brings friendly competition to members and staff alike to see who can reach California first. The HRU Wellness Champions in our programs and departments are doing an awesome job to motivate participants to move across the map while setting nutritious goals to earn extra steps!