YAI in the Bronx began in March of 1983 by the establishment of the Riverdale Residence, a home for 10 people with intellectual disabilities. Throughout the years, YAI-Bronx has expanded services to support people with disabilities through services including: residential, day habilitation, employment, evening adjustment program, health care, and community and family services.
The Bronx team strives to sustain the agency’s mission of living, loving, working, and learning to ensure that the people we support achieve their dreams and goals. The YAI Bronx Region is committed to continual growth from “Good to Great.”
What social opportunities are there in the Bronx for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities?
The Bronx Evening Adjustment Program (BEAP), Friday Night Social, and the Bronx Dinner Dance are just a few of our social opportunities. Take a look at our service directory for a full list of social activities in the Bronx.
Services can be funded a number of different ways and the eligibility requirements can vary, as can availability. It is best to contact YAI LINK at 212.273.6182 or by email at link [at] yai.org to get started.
A Day in the Life of a DSP by Bridget Butler
Working with YAI, there are many different opportunities available to serve as a DSP. Although being a DSP in each location can look different, the core of our job is consistent; to assist the people we support in living the lives they want to live. Each day as a DSP starts with checking-in with the people we support and seeing how their days are going. Throughout the day we assist people in the areas they want and need help in; possibly including self-care, cooking, learning new skills that they have chosen, setting up their preferred activities, running errands, visiting their favorite community hangouts, interacting with friends and family, going on appointments, and much more.
Being a DSP involves a lot of listening and observation in order to best understand what each person is feeling and communicating with us. Just as in our lives, some days are faster-paced and some days are slower-paced, depending on how the people we support are feeling and the support they need from us that given day. Overall, working as a DSP is extremely rewarding. You have the opportunity to be a part of helping people care for themselves, grow in their independence, and truly live their best lives.
This answer was provided by Lee J., one of the people we support.
My day is different every day! During the week, I get up and I go to work at the health clinic in the West Farms area of the Bronx. My job is to transport patients to the rehabilitation area. I get out early, which I like because I have time to go to the places I want to go to, like Harlem to see my friends. On Wednesdays, I go to the Bronx Zoo on my way home from work. I love the animals! On the weekends, I socialize with my housemates and we go on trips. We go to shopping, to the library and to Harlem. I am able to travel independently so I like to go out a lot.
My staff make me happy. They help me out with the things I need, like managing my money, helping me in the kitchen, and making sure I am ready to go to work. I love living at a YAI house because I can do what I want and go where I want!
Strong leadership is a priority in the Bronx region. Whether it’s from the people we support, such as Lee and Kisha taking charge to orchestrate their own Bronx self-advocacy group, or YAI staff collaborating with support departments in advocating for change to State Legislators, and with the Justice Center. The YAI Bronx Region is a community that truly cares about the people we support and is on our betterment mission from “Good to Great.”
Yes, YAI provides opportunities for people to volunteer. We can work with people individually to assess areas of interest and will work to tailor the experience to meet each person’s desires. Please visit yai.org/volunteer for more information.
Thank you for considering making a financial gift to support YAI's mission and services. Your generosity helps ensure the people we support continue to receive the customized services they need, and are able to live life on their terms. There are a number of ways you can give; please visit yai.org/give or call 212.273.6350 for more information.
Read a true story that embodies the amazing things that are happening in The Bronx every day.
Meet Kisha and Lee
Kisha and Lee, two people we support, have been very involved in YAI’s Self-Advocacy group in Manhattan. Recognizing this support was not yet available within their own region, Lee and Kisha spearheaded organizing their own Bronx-based self-advocacy group. Pooling their experiences together and promoting their group, there are now 10 members in the newly formed Bronx Self-Advocates group. The group is planning to hold a bake sale and donate the proceeds to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. They also plan on organizing a food drive for the homeless.