Vice President of Community Programming
Vice President of Adult Support Services
St. Coletta's residential program is designed to provide quality housing for special needs individuals, allowing clients to be integrated into the community and become productive members of society. The program consists of 26 groups homes within 15 southwest suburban communities of Chicago. These homes are similar in appearance to other neighborhood residences, and fulfill the needs and desires of the one hundred and seventy residents. This community-integrated residential program has not only reduced the impact of institutional living on skill development, but has also provided an environment that encourages the development of new social skills for greater participation in society.
The goal of the program is to allow individuals to participate in daily activities that many of us take for granted. The residents live in family-sized residences and have a lifestyle similar to their neighbors. Residents take pride in their homes while learning to understand the value of being part of the community. They hold their own bank accounts, shop in stores in the towns where they reside, and participate in community activities, when they are accessible. Staff is on hand at all times to provide guidance and encouragement to the residents, enabling them to fulfill their daily chores and responsibilities with growing confidence.
Two special residential homes include the Zolecki Center and the Intermediate Care Facility (ICF). The ICF is a 16 bed group home which provides more structure and support for individuals of all levels. The Zolecki Center provides a supportive and accommodating environment for individuals who are non-verbal and non-ambulatory. Some have cerebral palsy, and some have medical needs, such as feeding tubes and tracheotomies. Although their physical challenges are far greater than those in other group homes, these individuals are entitled to the same privileges of enjoying a home in the community, participating in community activities, and having a smaller, home-like environment. With the ongoing help of the communities, we can continue to work together and improve the quality of life for all the residents of St. Coletta's.
Something new to St. Coletta’s is the addition of the Fitness Center. With kind donations from our friends, we were able to buy efficient exercise equipment for our people. Both hand and foot pedal bikes have been purchased for exercise on a daily basis. Bands and other equipment were purchased so that we can strengthen core and arm muscles. We also have incorporated dance aerobics classes where burning calories and getting the heart rate going is the main focus.
These additions allow our participants to be active and learn healthy habits of exercise. For some of our people this is their favorite way to get exercise.