OCO Opens Residential House in Hannibal
OCO Developmentally Disabled Services has announced the opening of its newest Independent Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRA) house in Hannibal.
OCO’s Hannibal IRA house will be home to four individuals and provides them with the opportunity to live as independently as possible as they work on individual goals of improving their daily living skills.
“We’re excited to be opening another IRA home,” said Program Coordinator Jenny Searor. “Our IRAs are staffed 24/7 with direct support professionals that provide training and assistance to the residents. Our staff work with the residents as they develop the skills needed to live independently such as household responsibilities, grocery shopping, cooking. They also accompany residents to community events and other outings.”
The Hannibal IRA home, which was donated to OCO by the Hughes family, previously served as a community home for residents that are more independent and do not require as many services as those in an IRA home. Managed by OCO, the home was occupied by the family’s daughter and other residents including a member of the OCO Developmentally Disabled program.
“We have been working with our contractor Art Jones to transition the house to an IRA home. He built an addition to the house and remodeled the inside. The house is now open, and we recently welcomed our first residents,” Searor said.
The Hannibal IRA home is a welcome addition to the program that currently operates 10 IRAs as well 12 apartments and a respite home.
“At present we have 70 individuals living in our IRAs,” said Searor. “The NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, which provides funding for the IRAs, has a long waiting list of individuals seeking residential alternatives. Many are people are cared for by family members that are no longer able to do so. It’s a good feeling to know that we can improve the quality of life for individuals by welcoming them into new homes.”
Much of the success of OCO’s IRAs is the due to the efforts of OCO’s staff of direct support professionals. These dedicated individuals provide 24/7 support and assistance to the residents.
“Our staff does a wonderful job,” said Director of OCO Developmentally Disabled Services Michelle Canfield. “Our Direct Service Professionals are dedicated employees who care deeply about what they do and the residents they care for. They provide the support needed every day to help individuals to live the life they want to, with as much independence as possible.”
“Working with our residents is very personally rewarding,” added Searor. “It’s comforting to know that we are helping people live a desired life and grow as individuals. Our staff serve as advocates for the residents as they help them with everyday living skills, while maintaining connections with family and friends in a safe, person centered home. We are currently recruiting additional direct support professionals for our Hannibal home as well as others in the county. It really is a rewarding and fulfilling job.”
For more information on OCO Developmentally Disabled Services contact Michelle Canfield at 315-598-4717 or visit oco.org.