New program launched to support adults with functional needs

Jan 19, 2023 | Life

Hope Endoors Community Services in Brampton has launched a support program for adults with functional needs to assist them in gaining social skills, independent living, and meaningful relationships with their community.

The 12-week program, which begins Feb. 5, will provide older adolescents with functional needs with educational and physical activities aimed at boosting their confidence, training them for employment, and providing them with life skills.

The interactive session for a new program called “Open House” was announced by Hope Endoors Brampton on Jan. 14 and was hosted by the service’s co-founders Jermaine Spence and his wife Marlene.

He said the new program assists older adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities, including autism, Down syndrome, learning disabilities, and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

They will also help develop important social skills, on-the-job training, math and literacy skills, and cooking skills that will enable them to participate in the community and find employment, Jermaine said.

Registrations are open for program enrollment, and they are visible online on the website, where anyone can apply, he said.

The program is also for those between the ages of 18 and 40 who have alcohol spectrum disorder, he said.

Morning and afternoon activities are part of the program, which includes indoor and outdoor activities, Jermaine said.

Morning activities include meetings, sitting with staff, sessions on enhancing functional life skills, physical activity, and being part of the community, he said.

Afternoon activities include swimming, life skills, social skills, lunch, gym and other exercises, job readiness, and resume writing, Jermaine said.

Jermaine Spence spoke to Humber News about the interactive session.

Jermaine Spence, with Hope Endoors, spoke to Humber News about the support program "Open House," which will start on Feb. 5, 2023, in Brampton. It will assist adults with functional needs by giving them valuable skills and training for the job and independent living. Photo credit: Muhammad Hamza

“Our vision is to help neurodiverse families feel happy, hopeful, confident, and connected,” Jermaine said.

The program is also focused on enhancing the social skills of adults, such as cooking, grocery shopping, community engagement, and other activities, he said.

Marlene Spence said the program is an opportunity for adults aged 21 and older with developmental and intellectual disabilities to gain independent skills.

She said the major goal is to work on their personality development and enhance their social abilities, which will be necessary for them in the future, such as time management and financial management.

Marlene said they also teach people how to clean, get involved in arts and creative work, and improve their communication skills.

The purpose of all these activities is to see those adults succeed in life, she said.

Cindy Caceres, a flight attendant, went to the session because her younger sister, Shirley San Pedro, 29, has Down syndrome. She said her sister loves to dance, and this is the reason she has attended the session.

Caceres was informed about the interactive session on Facebook and was looking for a dance program for her sister, she said.

Her objective is to see her sister working after completing the 12-week program and being involved in social life activities, Caceres said.

Joseph Sowa, the father of Joshua Sowa, 21, said his son has a mild form of autism and he wants him to be engaged in everyday activities.

His wife, Sharm Sowa, told him about the session, he said. Joseph Sowa said he wants to see his son become more engaged in social life activities, enhance his learning abilities and communication skills.

He hopes his son will be able to live a healthy, confident, and intellectual life after completing this course, he said.