On Sunday, April 17, at Chapel Haven’s Annual Family Brunch, President Michael Storz announced the launch of a $41 million capital campaign that positions Chapel Haven once again as a pioneer in serving adults with disabilities.
The campaign, entitled “Continuing the Commitment: The Campaign for Chapel Haven,” has inspired early supporters to invest in a multi-year master plan that will transform Chapel Haven’s Westville campus and add a senior living facility, allowing senior members of the community to continue living among friends and with independence. Highlighting the many announcements that were made during the event was news that nearly $31.5 million has already been donated toward the ambitious and essential fundraising goal.
To see a photo album from the Family Brunch, click here: Photo Album, Chapel Haven Brunch, 2016
“I am so proud of Chapel Haven’s founding in 1972. We were the first agency of our kind to champion the idea that adults with disabilities can gain independence and live happy and productive lives,” Storz said. “Each year, Chapel Haven serves 250 adults, so our track record is incredible. With this campaign, we are poised to become a pioneer once again with the planned addition of a senior living program and a complete transformation of our campus.”
“We look forward to working with the City and the neighborhood on a responsible master plan renovation that will further strengthen our presence in the Westville community,” Storz said. Chapel Haven has been a stable force in Westville since its founding in 1972 in a house on Chapel Street.
Chapel Haven has hired Newman and Sons architects, an award-winning architectural firm based in New Haven, Conn. with seasoned experience in campus transformations; and Eventus Solutions to oversee the campus renovations and additions.
Storz noted that many families have already given generously and volunteered as leadership for the campaign. Chapel Haven’s Board of Directors, led by John Bilezikian, board President and the parent of a Chapel Haven community member, is actively involved with the capital campaign, as is Chapel Haven’s Board, Campaign Executive Committee, and families.
John and Sophie Bilezikian sent their daughter, Diana, to Chapel Haven more than 20 years ago from their home community of Scarsdale, N.Y. Diana now lives in her own condominium unit and enjoys a fulfilling, happy and independent life.
“I have had the privilege of helping to launch this capital plan both as board chair and as a committed Chapel Haven parent,” John Bilezikian said. “The excitement among our parent community is tangible. Chapel Haven’s mission is to help our adults stay fulfilled and independent during their productive years. Knowing that Chapel Haven will step in to provide high quality senior care in their later years is a vital component of our overall vision.”
“With the launching of our capital campaign, we aim to become what our founders envisioned – a supportive and lifelong community with opportunities for growth and fulfillment that will truly set the standard for the field. I know I speak for all parents when I say that this new vision for Chapel Haven, to be realized through the capital campaign, is the most exciting undertaking in its 44-year history.“
Diana Davis Spencer, whose daughter, Kim, graduated the REACH program and lives independently in the Chapel Haven community, announced that her family foundation has committed significant dollars to the creation of the senior living facility. She recalled how hard it was for their family to find the right lifelong program for Kim and how pleased she is now to help Chapel Haven launch its next step.
“Think back to those tenuous, uncertain days before any of us discovered Chapel Haven. For our family in the early 90’s there was no Google to enlighten us where to go to find this gem,” Diana said. “How beyond fortunate that we discovered Chapel Haven and our visionary leader, Mike Storz! Mike challenged us several years ago to consider our children’s future and the idea of building an assistant living complex. Well, time flies and this year our family Foundation decided to vote an overwhelming Yes to the idea.”
Fran Dolan, parent of ASAT graduate and community member John Dolan, attested to the need for a complete campus renovation, noting that Chapel Haven has done an extraordinary job “against the backdrop of some rather older, somber buildings. The truth is …Chapel Haven has focused all of its time, energy and resources on creating outstanding, results-oriented programming, executed by highly-trained staff members. As word of this visionary programming spread, Chapel Haven grew quickly – and not wanting to turn away those in need of our programming – purchased nearby buildings in order to secure the much needed space. However, these buildings were never constructed with the needs of our specific population in mind… Now it is time for our facilities to match the same level of our programming. Our adults… deserve it. Your sons and daughters deserve it. Our staff deserves it.”
Parent and board member Harriet Schleifer, also an early supporter of the capital campaign said, “This campaign will elevate Chapel Haven to the next chapter. Transforming the campus is crucial to in order for Chapel Haven to be a vibrant and sustainable community. A renewed campus will help to attract the next generation of Chapel Haven members. And we will miss out on welcoming new friends if we don’t make the facilities as attractive as our program is fabulous.”
The campaign has four major pillars: Creating an assisted living program that carries Chapel Haven’s mission forward into the senior years; transforming campus facilities including residential houses, classrooms and community spaces. The campaign will also support the expansion of employment opportunities for members of the Chapel Haven community and grow the Chapel Haven endowment.
The focus of the capital campaign is as follows:
Creating Lifelong Assisted Living:
Chapel Haven’s mission is to provide life-long services. “As our clients age, we must be prepared to help them and support them with the same level of care and encouragement that has nurtured their independence,” Storz noted. With the help of the master plan team, Chapel Haven has already done extensive research on the need for a senior living component and some best practices in creating a facility. Along with adding senior living, master planning has shown that Chapel Haven’s facilities have served the agency well but are outdated and are hampering “our ability to deliver services,” Storz said.
Despite steady growth over the years, Chapel Haven has reached a critical point in its ability to meet demand for its innovative and result-oriented programs. “Our commitment to provide high-quality programs led by exceptional staff has always taken precedence over our campus and facility needs,” Storz said. “Now the limitations of our facilities are affecting our ability to deliver services.”
“Reimagining the campus with a redesign that focuses on bringing our community together and encouraging socialization is one of the most exciting aspects of our master plan,” Storz said.
Transforming the Campus
While Chapel Haven’s current campus has supported the growth of best-in-class programs, we will be able to establish a renewed and vibrant learning environment specifically designed to address the individual needs of our adult community.
Our existing campus, including all the facilities for core programming, need to be expanded, renovated, and in some instances newly built in ways that best serve the needs of our adults.
Increasing Employment Opportunities
Chapel Haven knows that a key component of independent living is meaningful employment. National statistics show that the employment rate for persons with disabilities is only 20 percent, compared with a 70 percent average for the general population. Chapel Haven has received a generous $5 million gift from a family to create a replicable, sustainable employment model for its clients.
Growing the Endowment
For scholarship and tuition assistance, mission enhancement and program development, and staffing to grow, Chapel Haven’s endowment must continue to increase. A secure financial base will allow us to remain strong and stable in the future, ensuring that Chapel Haven will always be able to provide its life-changing services to the men and women that we serve.
About Chapel Haven:
Founded in 1972 in a house on Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, Chapel Haven is a nationally accredited transitional living program and approved private special education school with a mission of teaching adults with cognitive disabilities and social disabilities to live independent and productive lives. Chapel Haven has grown to serve more than 250 adults (18 years of age and older) in the residence and the community with three distinct programs; REACH, Asperger’s Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT), and Chapel Haven West (Tucson, AZ). Read more at www.chapelhaven.org.
Our adult education program offers a range of courses to develop social and independent living skills, as well as for personal enrichment. Courses vary, from “Introduction to Online Social Networking & Relationships” to a class on the history of comics.
Check out our catalog here: Spring Session 2016 COS
Interested? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapel Haven paused Monday, March 21, 2016, to mark World Down Syndrome Day.
Students and community members gathered in the Chapel Haven Outreach Center to sign a large mural marking the important day and to pose for some photo-ops. News Channel 8 was on hand to capture the event for the evening news.
Monday, March 21, 2015 marks the tenth annual World Down Syndrome Day, the fourth official date since it was recognized by the United Nations in 2011.
People with Down syndrome, their families, friends, teachers, coworkers and supporters celebrated across the globe. Celebrated on the 21st day of the third month of the year, the date is symbolic of the third copy of the 21st chromosome that characterizes Down syndrome.
“Chapel Haven has been teaching adults with Down Syndrome how to live happy, productive and independent lives since our founding in 1972,” said Chapel Haven President Michael Storz. “Our adults have their own apartments, work in satisfying jobs and have friends – all the hallmarks of a happy adult life!”
“It is important to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21 because there should be a day to celebrate the needs of people with Down syndrome. We are able to do things that other people can and can’t do – just like anybody from around the world,” says National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke. “No matter who we are or where we live, give us a chance to do something with our lives so we can look forward to the future.”
About Chapel Haven: Founded in New Haven, CT in 1972, Chapel Haven is a nationally accredited transitional living program and approved private special education with a mission of teaching adults with cognitive disabilities and social disabilities to live independent and productive lives. Chapel Haven has grown to serve more than 250 adults (18 years of age and older) in the residence and the community with three distinct programs; REACH, Asperger’s Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT), and Chapel Haven West (Tucson, AZ).
For more information visit www.worlddownsyndromeday.org.
Chapel Haven’s Annual Family Brunch is right around the corner. Set for Sunday, April 17, 2016 at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven, CT, register and pay online and join us! This spring’s event includes lots of new exciting updates on Chapel Haven’s future!
At this year’s brunch, join us for a Very Special Announcement about:
Transforming the Campus Facilities
Creating Assisted Living
Increasing Job Opportunities
Growing the Endowment
Chapel Haven’s popular Annual Family Brunch is set for:
Sunday, April 17th 2016.
Anthony’s Ocean View
450 Lighthouse Road
New Haven, CT 06512
For directions and more information, click here: About Anthony’s Ocean View
To Register and to use PayPal for you and your guests, click Register for Family Brunch.
Invites are also in the mail! We look forward to seeing all of you and sharing the exciting details of Continuing the Commitment: The Campaign for Chapel Haven!
JOIN US April 12 FOR THE
Chapel Haven Open House.
Sure, it may be chilly outside but it’s never too early to start planning the next step of the journey toward adult independence!
Chapel Haven has been helping adults with a variety of disabilities gain independent and happy lives since 1972! Chapel Haven’s open houses are an ideal way to explore the next step for the young adult in your life.
Join us for our evening open house April 12 at our New Haven, CT campus:
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 5 to 7 pm
Chapel Haven, 1040 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut
Join us for a light dinner, program overview, student panels and a chance to see life skills in action in our apartment setting! This is a great opportunity to gain an overview of the REACH and Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT) programs.
Pre-registration required, click here:
Interested in Chapel Haven West, our program in Tucson, AZ? You can also register to attend the Tucson open house, April 12, 5-7 p.m. MST, in Tucson, AZ. Chapel Haven West is also a residential transition program designed for adults on the spectrum and those with related social disabilities. Click here to register for the Chapel Haven West Open House in Tucson, AZ: Register for April 12 Chapel Haven West Open House
Founded in 1972, Chapel Haven is a nationally accredited transitional living program and approved private special education school with a mission of teaching adults with cognitive disabilities and social disabilities to live independent and productive lives. Chapel Haven has grown to serve more than 250 adults (18 years of age and older) in the residence and the community with three distinct programs; REACH, Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT), and Chapel Haven West (Tucson, AZ).
For more Information:
Chapel Haven Office of Admissions
203) 397-1714, x185
The Yale Center for British Art and Chapel Haven, a residential school and independent living facility for people with cognitive disabilities, will host an innovative therapy program, which will result in a public sculpture and raised awareness of autism.
On Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, at Chapel Haven located at 1040 Whalley Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut, individuals on the autism spectrum will create an environmentally inviting bird sanctuary and site specific sculpture. With this inaugural program, pioneered by Linda Friedlaender, Senior Curator of Education, Yale Center for British Art, and Tina Menchetti, Art Director, Chapel Haven, under the guidance of Chicago sculptor, Margot McMahon, participants of various ages, and social and physical abilities will create art that will beautify the surroundings. The program presents opportunities for autism patients to work with a variety of materials, to engage in social interaction, and to learn cooperative and communicative skills, in a caring, supportive environment. The event is free and open to the public.
“This project encourages collaboration and teaches participants to respect one another while working on a shared goal,” said Ms. Friedlaender. “It is also a day for people to have fun, to socialize and to feel accepted in a safe space.”
“This will also be an opportunity for various community groups to meet and to learn about the wide variety of programs in the area,” said Ms. Menchetti.
The event will involve several projects. From 10:00 to 12:00 pm, children from the Yale Center for British Art Artism program and from the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Fitness gym will meet indoors to construct pre-fabricated wooden birdhouses and will make nests from colorful telephone wires. From 12:30 to 2:30 pm, teenagers on the autism spectrum will work on indoor and outdoor projects, depending on the weather. They will construct planters using waxed paper tubes, wire mesh and paint. The participants will fill the containers with potting soil, and spring flower bulbs. They will bury the planters underground, forming a maze around a large tree, where the students’ birdhouses and nests will hang from its branches. The students will also twist and turn lightweight plastic piping to create a centerpiece to attract birds and wildlife.
The art will remain on site at Chapel Haven to welcome the coming spring. Chapel Haven residents will paint a mural of the day’s activities. It will be on display at Woolsey Hall at Yale University on World Autism Awareness Day, Saturday, April 2, 2016.
“We are grateful to all those participating in this event. Our Connecticut community is filled with tremendous spirit, generosity, and enthusiasm. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide growth-enhancing experiences for those of all abilities,” said Friedlaender.
Groups and individuals collaborating on this project include the following:
Artism Outreach program, Yale Center for British Art, Linda Friedlaender, Senior Curator of Education;
ASD (Austism Spectrum Disorder Fitness), Michael Storz, Advisory Board Member;
Chapel Haven, Michael Storz, President, Catherine Sullivan DeCarlo, Vice President of Admissions and
Marketing, Tina Menchetti, Art Director, residents of Chapel Haven and their teachers;
Hillhouse Hill School, Fallon Daniels, Principal;
Suzie Luft, Yale University Medical School, resident, and consulting artist;
Margot McMahon, sculptor, author, educator, consultant;
SAAY, Students for Autism Awareness at Yale
Teen Art Club for Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Yale University Child Study Center, and Yale
Center for British Art;
Wilbur Cross High School, Edith Johnson, Principal
Yale Center for British Art
The Yale Center for British Art houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Presented to the university by Paul Mellon, (Class of 1929) the collection reflects the development of British art and culture from the Elizabethan period onward. Visit the institution online at britishart.yale.edu.
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Betsy Kim: +1 203 432 2853 | email@example.com
Ronnie Rysz: +1 203 436 3429 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to Chapel Haven ASAT graduate and current community member Jennica Harris, who has a new job in Wallingford as a tax preparer for a law firm, which specializes in foreign tax issues.
“My day to day responsibilities are analyzing statements for foreign bank accounts and other documents from the clients and entering the information into the tax software to complete a corrected or original tax return. I also research tax forms and tax issues if I have a question about how an item is treated on a tax return,” Jennica said.
“I love this job, because there’s always more to learn, I like knowing that I am helping clients comply with tax laws by reporting their income and assets correctly, my co-workers are always willing to help me if I have questions, and I am continually increasing my proficiency and confidence with tax return preparation.”
Jennica continues, “My biggest accomplishment so far was organizing information for a client with almost 80 foreign bank accounts. I used a spreadsheet to keep track of all the account numbers and interest amounts, and I created page reference numbers so I would remember where I found each piece of information. My supervisor complimented me on how organized I was with the project.”
Jennica came to the ASAT program from her home in Santa Barbara, CA. After enrolling in the residential program, she is now living independently in the community and is doing well.
Asked for any tips she might have for others, she shares: “My advice for people looking for a job is don’t give up. When I first graduated from the ASAT program, I spent 8 months applying for jobs and interviewing. I found a job with a CPA firm and worked there for 7 months before I was one of a few people laid off after the busy season. I went right back to job searching. I got hired for my current job after 4 months of active job searching. If you are able to maintain a positive attitude and keep submitting those applications and practicing your interview skills, you will find a great job!”
Congrats, Jennica, we are proud of you!
Giving back with gifts of fleece blankets at Mary Wade Home
Thumbs up to ASAT students and teacher Alicia Prigodich, who led a class in how to make beautiful, handmade fleece blankets and donated them to the elderly residents of the Mary Wade Home in New Haven. The students received a big thank you from Executive Director David Hunter, who even gave them a shout out on Facebook. Nice job to everybody!
Thumbs up to ASAT students and staffer Carolyn Gorman for giving up a Sunday to collect food and cash to benefit the CT Food Bank. Students and staff collected money and non perishables at the Amity Stop & Shop to go toward the Connecticut Food Bank and the “Super Size Me” drive organized each by Chapel Haven community member James Trimble. The crew collected two full grocery carts worth of non perishable goods, plus $330 in cash. Thanks to Carolyn Gorman, who coordinates postsecondary and career education for the ASAT program, and the students for doing such an awesome job! Giving back, especially during the holidays, is important to Chapel Haven and its students!
A popular core class in the ASAT program is called ASAT Productions. Led by Carolyn Gorman, this class gives students immersion in a variety of digital media skills while simulating a work-like experience, where they can safely receive constructive feedback with practice and coaching in order to ready them for competitive employment. The class includes a Social Communicative Competency component taught by Sarah Davison with coaching in the soft skills necessary to communicate successfully in the workplace. The students then are observed as they go through the “work day”‘ putting the strategies into effect.
This year, Chapel Haven purchased a 3-D printer for the course and the students had the chance to make and print usable items, including holiday decorations. “Tthe 3D printed ornaments were quickly sold out, as ASAT staff purchased them all as soon as we completed packaging them,” Carolyn noted. “The class also completed an online newsletter for the Chapel Haven Wellness Program, and photographed the artwork of several UArts artists to be used in an upcoming greeting card project. We will be continuing the class through the coming semesters and will be continuing our line of 3D printed ornaments, as well as producing other salable items.”
The students also are learning to use video equipment anconducted several on-campus interviews for Chapel Haven President Michael Storz, to be used as part of Chapel Haven’s planned giving campaign.
Community Service Exploration
Another busy class in the ASAT curriculum is called Community Service Exploration. Students are out and about doing a variety of volunteer tasks for local agencies. So far this year, their activities have included making a meal for the Ronald McDonald House, sorting clothing for Goodwill, delivering donations to the CT Foodbank, creating a care package that was mailed to active U.S. Troops overseas, trailblazing the Pond Lily Trail for the New Haven Land Trust, making and delivering fleece blankets for the Mary Wade Home Holiday Bazaar, planting and transplanting plants at Edgerton Community Garden, cleaning at All Pets Club, helping clean and remove litter during a Westville Beautification Walk, and making Bookmarks for the Yale New Haven Hospital Book Cart.
TUCSON, AZ – Families of young adults with autism spectrum disorders and social disabilities are cordially invited to attend an open house at Chapel Haven West to learn more about how this award-winning agency can lead to a happy and productive adult life.
Please join us Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, 10 to noon at Chapel Haven West (MST) for a light breakfast, program overview, a tour, and the chance to talk with staff and students about the path to independent living. As an added bonus, your son/daughter is cordially invited to join our current students and recreation staff for lunch out on the town in sunny, Tucson AZ.
Registration is required online using this link: Register for Feb. 27 Open House Questions? Please call the Chapel Haven Office of Admissions at (203) 397-1714, ext. 148 for more details. Request a brochure by sending an email to email@example.com.
Chapel Haven West in Tucson, AZ provides residential transition and lifelong supports for adults 18+ with autism spectrum disorders and related social disabilities. This 24-month transition program focuses in four key areas: social communicative competency; independent living, self-determination, and college/vocational exploration. Students live in an apartment complex within walking distance a few blocks from the University of Arizona. They learn apartment management skills along with cooking, budgeting, grocery shopping and doing laundry while also gaining confidence in social communication. The program’s close proximity to the University of Arizona provides a rich array of benefits for Chapel Haven West students, including college classes, recreation and job shadowing opportunities.
Chapel Haven West is a satellite program of Chapel Haven Inc., founded in New Haven, Conn. in 1972 and dedicated to providing a lifelong program of individualized support services for adults with cognitive and social disabilities, enabling them to live independent and productive lives. The agency is celebrating its 44rd anniversary.
Attention Chapel Haven students, community members, staff and families: Do you have a habit you will try to kick in 2016? Or something funny at Chapel Haven that you would like to change? Consider entering the 31 Days of January New Year Resolution contest. Email your resolution and a photo of yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org, or allow us to take one. Winning entries will be featured on our Facebook and in our newsletter and you may win a $25 gift card to Amazon or your choice from Chapel Haven’s new spirit wear collection! You must “like” Chapel Haven’s Facebook page to be eligible. All entries due by Jan. 15!
To start us off thinking about this, Chapel Haven President Michael Storz offers us this New Year’s Resolution:
To eat healthier this year. That means no more morning hash browns from the Chapel Haven Cafe, Rich!
Happy Holidays to all! It’s only November, but it’s never too early to mark your calendars! Chapel Haven’s Popular Family Weekend Brunch will take place Sunday, April 17, 2016. Save the date!
Chapel Haven’s popular Family Weekend Brunch is set for:
Sunday, April 17th 2016.
Anthony’s Ocean View
450 Lighthouse Road
New Haven, CT 06512
For directions and more information, click here: About Anthony’s Ocean View
Invites will go in the mail in 2016! For now, just save the date!