POMs in Action

Wed, March 11, 2015

Talk about person-centered ... Mark Prediger and Zakia Lewis, who live at our Rockland County Association for Learning Disabilities' (RCALD) Alice Drive residence, have been busy picking out furniture, dishes, linens and curtains for a supported apartment they will share in Nanuet, N.Y.

Alice Drive and Supported Living staff have been helping them move everything into the apartment, but they're still awaiting the final state certification survey.

Acquiring the Skills

Move-in day can't come soon enough. Mark, who has lived at the residence since it opened in 1990, has seen many individuals move on. He is confident that he's ready. "I know how to cook, wash my clothes and everything that goes with living independently," said Mark, 53, who has worked at the AMC Theaters at the Palisades Mall for five years.

'I'm So Happy'

"I'm so happy; I'm with joy! I want to thank everybody," said Zakia, 45, who has lived in the home for six years.

A common challenge facing many individuals who graduate to more independent residential settings is loneliness. But for Mark and Zakia, this shouldn't be a problem.

"There's a built-in peer network nearby," said Chris Reinhard, RCALD Executive Director. "There are several Supported Living and Individual Support Services apartments nearby. They're not going to feel isolated or lonely."

Staff throughout RCALD share the excitement of the pending move.

POMs in Action

"They’ve been saying for a really long time that they wanted to move into an apartment and be roommates," said Gabi Opazo, Senior Coordinator. "The POMs (Personal Outcome Measures) way of thinking brought this to life."

"This is POMs in full motion," said Shannon Autar, RCALD Residential Supervisor who oversees the supported apartments. "It has been a nice thing to watch and help navigate Mark and Zakia through. The supported apartments’ staff, especially, Anna Vorse, College Ave. Assistant Supervisor, and DSPs Bianca Jean Francois and Ronald Griffin, have been working closely and getting to know Mark and Zakia.

Confident 'They'll Thrive'

"I'm ecstatic to see both of them get a shot at what they so deserve," said Dave Wardell, Alice Drive Supervisor. "I’m certain they'll thrive."

“The possibilities are endless,” added Shannon.