It’s a sunny day in Westville Village and the WVRA landscaping crew from Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, Inc. is hard at work.
Led by Job Coach Ethan Peters, the trio – Drew B., Bobby T. and David S. – each have their specialties. Drew, who studied landscaping before coming to Chapel Haven, is especially good with the weed whacker and leaf blower.
“Drew does an amazing job with all the electric and power tools,” says Ethan.
David and Bobby make a good team helping with trash collection and watering plants.
First stop today- filling up 20 gallon plastic jugs nestled into a wagon with water so they can begin the job of watering the potted plantings that line the Westville village. To water all the plants, they will need to fill up the jugs a total of three times, dispensing 60 gallons of water in a shift.
Drew says as they go along, it’s not unusual for grateful business owners to call out “you’re doing a great job” and sometimes even bring out cold water or treats.
WVRA Executive Director Lizzy Donius says the crew does a great and important job. “These guys are the best! They keep everything looking beautiful,” she says.
With a renewed focus on meaningful employment at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, Inc., the three young men enjoy having a paid job and reporting to duty three days a week. Westville Village Renaissance Alliance, the governing body for the business district, has had a tradition of employing Chapel Haven adults. In addition, Chapel Haven President Michael Storz and VP of Admissions and Marketing Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo serve on the WVRA Board of Directors. Keeping the village looking tidy and appealing is important to all.
Asked what he does with his paycheck, David answers: “I put it in my account.”
Drew enjoys the job. Later today, he will report to duty at his volunteer job – prepping and serving food to the homeless at the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen.
“I enjoy meeting the people and helping give back,” he says. “It’s always good to give back to people. These are people who are not always able to have what you have as a luxury.”
Job Coach Ethan enjoys overseeing the crew. “I love it. I love spending time with them, helping them. You guys are the best! Plus, it’s great exercise.”
Congratulations to our WVRA crew and thanks to Lizzy and her team for employing our adults.