The Independent Living Association (ILA) operates over 35 group homes throughout New York City, where over 250 developmentally and intellectually disabled men and women are given the opportunity to lead productive lives.
The Lamoka Avenue home is one of eleven group homes on Staten Island where 10 Individuals reside. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the homes have had to come up with alternative ways for the residents to carry on with and enjoy their lives.
Not only the staff but also many of the residents’ families have stepped up to ensure that the Individuals remain healthy, safe and happy.
Patrick and Frances Healy are the parents of Brian who has lived at the Lamoka Ave. home for about 20 years. During these most difficult times, the Healy’s have been incredibly generous with their donations to Brian’s group home. Their initial donations consisted of masks to both Individuals and staff, and when asked what other types of donations would be needed, the Healy family was told that food would be greatly appreciated.
So food, it was! Every other week, the Healy’s deliver all types of food including fruits, vegetables, juices and other healthy snacks. In addition, they have supplied full meals for the staff, all of whom are extremely grateful for the Healy’s generosity.
Faye Bobb-Sampson is the Area Coordinator and oversees 5 facilities on Staten Island, including the Lamoka Ave. home. She has worked with ILA in various positions for over 25 years, and considers ILA’s quality of services outstanding. Faye says that families like the Healy’s play an integral role in the well-being of their loved ones as well as the other Individuals in the homes. Since the Direct Support Professionals, the staff of the homes, are the voices and the ears for the individuals, Faye also sees a passion in the staff who take pride in their work. This pride, she says, is seen throughout the agency and is what makes ILA so special. Despite all the challenges during the pandemic, Faye, her team and the whole ILA family, have continued to remain steadfast in their dedication and determination to remain healthy themselves, so that every day they can help others who otherwise cannot help themselves.
Faye’s motto, “What is your purpose today?” reaches far when speaking about the importance of both personal growth and making social change in the community.
While food donations, such as those by the Healy family, are always appreciated, ILA Individuals also look forward to donations of arts and crafts materials, music-related items such as relaxation CDs, and all types of appropriate movies.
Click here to learn more about ILA or to make a donation.