It’s makeover time at Chapel Haven!
Thanks to the generosity of a family choosing to remain unnamed, Chapel Haven’s courtyard and REACH (Rossman) residential building are receiving an amazing makeover, with the work scheduled to start in just a few weeks and completed in time for move-in day. This transformation is sorely needed and will result in communal spaces that are bright, warm and welcoming, inviting our individuals to rest, socialize and recharge.
The project includes:
- Renovating the Chapel Haven courtyard with new pavers, landscaping and beautiful outdoor furnishings – making this an attractive place for our students and community members to congregate and socialize
- Sprucing up the basketball court and replacing what we have with a new, commercial-grade basketball stanchion and hoop. Our court is already well loved so this particular feature I am confident will receive a popular reception!
- All new furnishings in the student lounge
- The creation of a new rec room and gathering space on the first floor of the Rossman residence, with new furnishings, a gaming center, installation of rec-room activities like Ping Pong, large-screen TVs for watching the ball games and other fun activities
- The installation of brand-new flooring and an attractive new color scheme for the hallways and stairwells of the Rossman residence; replacement of all doors in the building, including and apartment doors and corridors with solid-grain, wooden doors (goodbye, institutional metal doors!) and new signage. The work also includes new lighting to brighten the ground-floor student lounge, rec room and corridors
We will be sharing progress photos as we go. If you haven’t already, please “like” the Chapel Haven Facebook page to stay in touch on news of this exciting new development.
June is a festive month at Chapel Haven as our three core residential programs celebrate graduation ceremonies.
The REACH graduation ceremony is set for Friday, June 17 at Chapel Haven. Congrats to Adam, Danielle, Jon, Carl, Nate, Harry, Colin, Catherine, Jason, Randy, Kyle and Channing!
Chapel Haven West
Chapel Haven West will hold their ceremony at 10:30 a.m.on Saturday, June 11 at the University of Arizona Student Union in Tucson, Arizona. Nine Graduates will grace the stage, and each plans to share their thoughts from their residential experiences. The ceremony will include a message from former Graduate and current Community Member Henry Poole, along with a Keynote Address by Dr. Sydney Rice, Director of AZ LEND and the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine.
The ASAT Program
ASAT (Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition) program will also hold their ceremony at 11 a.m. in the Outreach Center at Chapel Haven on Saturday, June 11. The keynote speaker will be Jennica Harris, an ASAT graduate who now works as a tax preparer at a law firm.
Congratulations to Josh Wagner, Grace Musser, Trevor Achilles, Spenser DeRosier and Thomas Ice! We are proud of your achievements!
Chapel Haven has won a $500 grant from USTA New England in recognition and support of its adaptive tennis program promoting life skills.
Started two years ago by Chapel Haven parent, Jerry Weil, a Greenwich resident, Chapel Haven parent and an experienced tennis coach with an interest and expertise in adaptive tennis, the program has grown in popularity so much so that it has been incorporated into Chapel Haven’s education program as a year round program.
To date 39 Chapel Haven students and community members have participated and enjoyed innovative tennis instruction, fun and a warm welcome at some of the area’s top tennis venues, including the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center at Yale and Oak Lane Tennis Center in Woodbridge.
“By making tennis accessible to a wider audience it becomes a magical vehicle to develop social communication, self-confidence and involvement in community,” says Jerry Weil “It’s a wonderful synergy of life and sport.”
Chapel Haven President Michael Storz said he is proud that the tennis clinic has been so well received. “Jerry has done an amazing job of making the sport fun and a great workout at the same time. We are lucky to have Jerry’s expertise and his incredible coaching.”
About Chapel Haven: Founded in 1972 in a house on Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, Chapel Haven is an award-winning independent 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 serves more than 250 adults (18 years of age and older) with residential and day programs. Read more at www.chapelhaven.org.
About USTA New England: USTA New England, one of 17 regional sections across the country that comprise the United States Tennis Association (USTA), is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting and developing the growth of tennis and increasing participation in the sport in New England by offering quality recreational and competitive programs for people of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit www.ustanewengland.com.
On May 11, participants in Chapel Haven’s SAIL program organized and held their own formal dinner dance for the first time.
The event took place at Amarante’s on New Haven’s East Shore. The SAIL adults formed a committee and planned every detail, right down to the food and the music played.
Says staffer Tim Cenabre, “this idea was formulated and brought together by a group of determined, motivated students in the SAIL program! We are proud of them beyond words!”
Tim created a video of the night that ran on Chapel Haven’s Facebook page and was viewed by nearly 9,000 people! generated Check out this video to see a magical night for all! SAIL formal dinner dance video
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
Chapel Haven’s capital campaign plans have already garnered extensive press coverage. To read a front-page story in the New Haven Register, click here.
Click here to read a story in the Hartford Courant.
To see a story in Business New Haven, click here: Business New Haven story on capital campaign
“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 email@example.com.
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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