YAI Opens New Deer Park Home
"After all the things I've been through, this is one of the most rewarding things I've done in my 25 years of practice." — Kurt Widmaier
Widmaier, the court-appointed guardian for Johnathan Elias, had just assisted his move from a residential school in Yonkers to YAI's Deer Park Residence, which opened Monday, in Long Island.
Weekly Visits Before Move
Andrej Drofenik, Supervisor of the home, described the transition from child services to adult services as "coming from a world with rules into a world with agreements."
For Randy Stubenrauch, the move was a homecoming. He grew up in Deer Park with his grandparents, father, step mother and dog Allie. "I found her two years ago as a stray," Randy said, unpacking trash bags filled with sports equipment, clothing and a wrestling belt. "I like wrestling," he added.
Like a proud father, Dave O'Keefe, Coordinator, smiled as people moved in. He hooked up Randy's X-Box, played Jonathan's favorite music (Lenny Williams' "Cause I Love You") and added his personal touch to decorating—a model car rested on a living room shelf. "One of the men loves cars; so I brought this from home,” Dave said.
John and Meena Oommen toured the home as they awaited their son Jobi's arrival from his residential school in Rome, New York They wrapped their arms around him upon arrival.
"This is your new home Jobi," John said, with an arm around Jobi.
"We're happy to have him closer to home," Meena added, as she helped unpack clothing.
Congratulations to the Deer Park team and all staff who helped make this home a reality.