Making Connections
Dear Friend,

Did you know that more than one-third of the U.S. population experiences mental health challenges or developmental disabilities? Locally, JF&CS serves over 1,000 clients with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and autism spectrum disorder.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have made it a priority to provide the structure, emotional support, and logistical support needed by people with a wide range of abilities. This has meant:

  • Providing one-on-one support to clients by phone, video chat, or in their homes — whether acting as a psychological safety net, coordinating with mental health providers, or navigating essential tasks like online grocery shopping.

  • Creating online full-day programming so those with disabilities can maintain a sense of normalcy and connection when most other supports have been eliminated.

  • Providing round-the-clock residential services with creative programming for clients with developmental disabilities.

  • Offering special education advocacy, benefits assistance, advice on life transitions, and care coordination — including services for those who couldn’t otherwise afford this type of coaching.

This commitment to helping people of all abilities is core to our mission and central to Judaism, which teaches that we are all created b’tzelem Elohim, in G-d’s image. During these turbulent times, it is truly a privilege to be part of an organization that is working to foster independence and inclusion for everyone in our community.

Gail Schulman
Chief Executive Officer
Special Education Advocates Help Parents Navigate an Uncertain School Year
“Parents are facing a lot of uncertainly right now,” said Sara Freedman, the Director of Disability Services at JF&CS. “Everyone wants to know what school will look like this fall, but plans are constantly shifting and evolving.” As school districts weigh the benefits and risks of in-person classes and virtual learning, there are no easy answers to be found.

JF&CS Offers Free IEP Clinic on Zoom
This September, JF&CS is offering a virtual clinic through which parents can receive a free consultation with our Special Education Advocate about their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). During this unconventional school year, it is more important than ever that your child’s IEP is being followed and that they are making progress toward their goals.

Our Advocate will review your child’s IEP ahead of time and meet with you via Zoom to discuss your concerns and develop strategies to address those concerns. Individual 50-minute sessions begin at the top of every hour.

When: Tuesday, September 8 and Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Time: Hourly, 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Cost: Free of charge

RSVP: To reserve your spot, please contact Joan Munnelly at [email protected] or 781-697-4543.
JF&CS and Mark’s Moving Help Clients Feel at Home
At the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support®, we often work with parents who are in the process of moving from a homeless shelter or unsafe housing into a new apartment. These parents hope to set up a warm and comfortable home for their children, but they often lack the resources to pay for movers.

In these situations, JF&CS has been fortunate to partner with Mark’s Moving & Storage. Based in Westborough, this moving company has been offering its services free-of-charge to our high-need clients.

Support from JF&CS Allows Young Adults to Live Independently
During the first few days of September, the streets of Boston are crowded with moving trucks and young adults getting settled into new apartments or dorm rooms. While moving out on your own is exciting, the idea of living away from home can be intimidating for young adults who have executive functioning, organization, or social and emotional challenges.

JF&CS Supported Housing and Clinical Case Management empowers young adults through this transition and beyond. Our team helps clients confidently take that next step with:

  • Hands-on teaching of life skills

  • Guidance with meal planning and preparation, bill paying, and household organization

  • Coaching around social skills and community building

  • Ongoing emotional support

To learn more, contact us at [email protected] or 781-693-5640.
Join Family Table for the Ride for Food - Off the Beaten Path
JF&CS Family Table is excited to once again participate in the Ride for Food, an annual fundraiser organized by Three Squares New England. The money we raise from the Ride supports Family Table as we provide groceries to the growing number of families in Greater Boston facing food insecurity.

This year, the fundraiser is called “Ride for Food - Off the Beaten Path.” Instead of just cycling, participants can now choose any independent activity they'd like to raise money for our food pantry. You can ride a bike, hike, run, swim, read books, or even bake cakes...the possibilities are endless!

Our goal is to raise $50,000 for Family Table by October 4. Registration is just $25 and there is no fundraising minimum. Please join our Family Table team or donate to a team member today! Thank you so much for your support! | 781-647-JFCS (5327)
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