For several years now, the staff and participants in the Supported Living program at Team 16 have been gathering together informally to share a meal and get to know each other better.
“We have been organizing some sort of family picnic or barbeque for quite some time now,” says Laura Eidson, Director of Supported Living. “It helps the families of our residents re-connect with each other as well as visit with everyone who lives in the apartment building. They also get to know the staff members who are assisting their loved ones each and every day.”
This year’s event was a fish-fry with all the fixings. Brad, father of Clinton who has participated in the Supported Living program for almost four years, volunteered the use of his outdoor fish fryer and his cooking services. Staff purchased the fish and Brad did the rest—and according to the guests, everything turned out delicious! Staff also made additional side dishes and desserts to compliment the meal.
“Staff had a fun time putting together the fish fry and the residents talked about it for several days before the event as they were pretty excited about it,” says Krista Rowden, Site Manager for Team 16. “I think our individuals had a great time, despite the heat, and everyone seemed to enjoy the food. Parent parties are always a good opportunity for families and staff to put names to faces since we may not see our individuals’ families very often.”
This year’s event was held in July, not only to celebrate summer, but to also enjoy a newly renovated common patio area between two of the BCFR-owned apartment buildings. The space is now more accessible, welcoming and useful for residents who have pets.
“We put in a new concrete pathway, new grass, and there is now a fence around the courtyard to make it look a little nicer and for dogs to roam,” says Krista. “It was always a favorite spot among residents for hanging out outside, but now it is an even nicer spot to spend time outdoors.”