Hankering for More

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Network Agency:
YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities
Service Type(s):

Hankering for More is a program designed
to help you make friends. 

Our Story

Hankering for More began in 2004 after Hank Geiling who, like all of us, wanted friends and a meaningful social life. Hank was unable to find people to fit this need. His sister-in-law, Jennifer Geiling, took action! Together, Jennifer and Hank, created HFM to support adults with learning and developmental disabilities feel included, build confidence, embrace New York City’s greatness, and most of all make friends. Today, Hank and more than 115 other HFM members have been successful in creating and maintaining meaningful friendships.  

How does it all work?

During the HFM “Social Season,” which runs from September to June, members attend social outings in the community, like walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, art tours at the Museum of Modern Art, trying dim sum in Chinatown, and eating our way through a pizza food tour. Outings are a place to meet and connect with friends! 

In between outings, social coaches work with members over the phone, in person, or via email to identify and work towards personalized social goals, encouraging and supporting members to overcome their social barriers. During these coaching sessions we provide honest feedback, individualized social challenges, and support navigating conflict within friendships. We also provide newsletters with social suggestions, encouraging members to hang out and enjoy their newfound friendships. 

The goal of the program is to not need us anymore! As members move through HFM, the amount of staff support gradually decreases. Upon graduation, members have and maintain their own social network without staff support! 

Is This Program Right For You?

HFM is designed for adults with learning and developmental disabilities who live in and around New York City who want support making friends! 

Are you?

  • Motivated and committed to making friends?
  • Confident traveling alone throughout the city on public transportation (not Access-A-Ride)?
  • Ready to get outside your comfort zone and explore New York?
  • Ready to engage in conversations about yourself, the community, current events and the world around you?
  • Able to maintain your own schedule with minimal support? 
  • Comfortable with a 15:1 member-to-staff ratio?
  • Over the age of 18?

If yes, apply here

FAQs

  • Am I eligible for HFM? 
    Member eligibility depends on funding, which can change from year-to-year. Contact us for more information hfm [at] yai.org or 212.273.6339.
  • Do I have to pay to be a part of HFM?
    No, HFM is a free service for all members. The cost of being in HFM is the time, energy and dedication we require of all members and in their efforts of connecting with others.
  • Do you have a waitlist? How long will I be on the waitlist? 
    Yes. Applicants may find themselves on a waitlist for 2-3 years.
  • I submitted my application, now what?
    After you submit your full application, the process begins with a phone screening. You should expect a call within a month. 

Accessibility

Accessible:
No
Transportation provided?:
No
Transportation Notes:

All HFM members are confident in traveling alone throughout the city on public transportation

Videos

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Hankering for more hang out : Sparking Social Connections