Making What’s Possible A Reality

On October 30th, the Northeast Region of the Department of Disability Services recognized individuals and their supporters who have worked together to achieve a significant accomplishment. Three CHS teams were nominated and recognized for accomplishing goals that were particularly meaningful to the individual served. Below are their stories. With support from Melissa, Mike's transition from living in a skilled nursing facility for five years restored his life. Mike & Melissa's StoryPrior to his accident, Mike was a talented carpenter and musician, a nature lover and a big fisherman - his life was quite fulfilling. That changed unexpectedly on one holiday evening, when Mike and his brother left his father’s house and were struck by a drunk driver. Mike’s injuries were substantial and life changing. He was left with severe nerve…
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Sibling Support: Tips to Make the Holidays Meaningful For Your Sibling

With the holiday season just around the corner, now is an opportune time to consider a few new family strategies that can help you create a more meaningful holiday for your sibling. Some individuals find that the holidays can be a time of distress, sensory overload and anxiety when their routines are changed. Here are some ideas to support your sibling to navigate family holiday events and help to make their experiences positive, memorable and meaningful Begin by planning ahead. Share some photos of previous family holidays to help remind your sibling of what the holiday together means, the history of your family traditions and how this year’s visit will unfold. Knowing what to expect will help your sibling manage anxiety and allows time for you to address questions and…
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Residential Services Expand to Accommodate Young Adults Turning 22

Cooperative For Human Services responded to a growing need for more housing options to support young adults with developmental disabilities as they transition from special education programs to adult services. In June 2019, the organization opened a residential program in Andover, MA to support up to five young adults with a wide range of abilities, hobbies and interests. The home is located on a tree-lined street of stately Colonial homes and is within a short walking distance to the heart of town. This proximity offers the individuals served with easy access to community activities, outdoor venues and opportunities for socializing.  As the individuals settle into their new environment, they are supported to create a Vision for their unique interests, hopes and dreams which will then lead to setting goals through…
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The Cooperative for Human Services Celebrates Summer at the Farm with 14 BBQs!

The Cooperative for Human Services Celebrates Summer at the Farm with 14 BBQs!

As the warm weather officially comes to a close, we would like to take a moment to reflect on all of the fantastic BBQ events we hosted this summer at Jackson Farm! This summer the Cooperative for Human Services hosted 14 barbeques at Jackson Farm. We were so fortunate to be able to share these events with over 400 of our individuals, their families, and local neighbors and friends. Everyone came together to prepare wonderful home cooked meals. We grilled everything from traditional hamburgers to Korean BBQ pork and apple wood smoked chicken! We also made tossed salads and grilled vegetable melodies using fresh fruits and vegetables harvested from our organic gardens at the Farm. Of course no BBQ would be complete without refreshing ice cream, cookies, and fruit salads,…
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Developing friendships, one day at a time

Developing friendships, one day at a time

In May 2018, Cooperative for Human Services joined a collaborative effort with The ARC of Massachusetts and MA Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to participate in the Pathways to Friendship Project. The mutual goal is to elevate efforts in social inclusion by advancing relationships and friendships among people with and without disabilities. The initiative required a 2-year commitment of time and attention on the part of the organization to focus on the promotion of relationships. The ARC’s role is to provide facilitation, consultation and support while DDS continues to refine its Quality Enhancement tools and processes around social inclusion. The company identified a cross-functional team of five project leaders who in turn, assessed and selected eight individuals of varying needs to participate in the initiative. Participants were evaluated with a…
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This Little Piggy . . . Came To Jackson Farm!

Welcome to two-year-old Mamie, the newest member of Cooperative for Human Services’ small animal therapy team, based at Jackson Farm. Along with Rambo the rabbit and our three new baby guinea piglets, April, May and June, Mamie is a one-of-a-kind Vietnamese pot bellied pig. She epitomizes the values of CHS -- a gentle, friendly being who is working to achieve a fulfilling and inspiring life that encompasses community and healthy lifestyle. As a baby, Mamie was shipped from her breeders in Texas to live with a family in Franklin, MA. Unfortunately, her owners did not know how to care for a pot bellied pig, so she was not given outdoor space to exercise, root, or wallow, and was fed doughnuts, cookies, and fast food.  At 200 pounds, her owners could…
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Food Pantry Program Expands

Cooperative for Human Services continues to provide services and supports to an ever-increasing number of individuals in their homes and CHS residential programs. In November 2017, the organization established a Food Pantry to provide people served with no-cost food so that everyone has access to good nutrition and healthy options. Recently, the organization expanded its partnership with the Food Donation Connection, a national non-profit matching company, and began to work directly with two well-known hospitality destinations, The Cheesecake Factory and Chipotle Restaurants, Burlington, MA. These partnerships increase the company’s ability to offer pre-cooked food and dinner entrees to individuals who may have poor cooking skills or are attempting to successfully manage a meager food budget. The Food Pantry continued to expand its food distribution this summer when the organization doubled…
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CHS Expands Acquired Brain Injuries Services into Urban Setting

The Cooperative For Human Services opened its second home to support individuals with Acquired Brain Injuries. The residence, located on Highland Avenue in Malden, MA, is occupied by individuals from the local area which affords the residents opportunities to spend more time with friends and families as well gain easy access to the vibrant, active urban culture offered by the city of Malden. The four-bedroom, two-bathroom house applies all the best practices in assessable design to accommodate people with assistive medical devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and mechanical lifts. The home’s layout includes a solarium where individuals can visit with guests or just enjoy a quiet space for reading and a self-serve coffee/tea bar in the kitchen area. Financially and clinically eligible individuals in the ABI Waiver program funded by…
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Prader-Willi Syndrome Residential Program Available Soon in Andover, MA

Families affected by PWS, in partnership with Cooperative For Human Services, are planning to provide person-centered services in a newly renovated home. About the Services   The five-bedroom, three bath colonial home is located in the heart of beautiful Andover, Massachusetts within walking distance of town activities and civic resources. Supports provided include highly-trained 24-hour direct care, transportation, an experienced Clinical Supports team, healthcare coordination and nursing care, and service coordination with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Program offers a “food safe” environment. Collaborate to customize and design person-centered services to meet the unique needs of your family member with Prader-Willi Syndrome.  Support services are flexible to anticipate change and choices, customized and designed to provide a full life.  Great opportunity for a parent adviser role…
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CHS Expands Its Residential Services

Three young women with developmental disabilities moved into their new home located in Saugus, MA, bringing with them high energy and a keen interest to explore their new community. The residential program offering support on a 24-hour basis is one of only a very few that have opened in recent years in eastern Massachusetts. Cooperative For Human Services continually uses a creative problem-solving approach to design  services for people with disabilities and housing is a critical component of these services. The four-bedroom  home is located in an upscale residential neighborhood near parks, shopping, entertainment and civic venues that serve as a springboard for individuals to connect to their new community. The women are supported by a veteran team of clinicians, healthcare professionals and direct support staff who are focused on…
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