Fulton, NY Ã¢â‚¬â€œ After months of planning and hard work, Patrick Waite, director of Oswego County OpportunitiesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Mental Hygiene Division, has announced that the divisionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s housing program has taken a major step forward with the opening of a new community residence in Fulton and the addition of an apartment complex in Oswego.
OCO has recently opened a newly built, five bedroom community residence at 198 West 4th Street in Fulton and have acquired 7 apartments at the East Point Apartment Complex in Oswego. The new facilities will not only enhance services offered to consumers through OCOÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mental Hygiene Division but also allow the program to serve more individuals as well. Previously OCO maintained an 8-bedroom community residence in Fulton. With the opening of the new home in Fulton, and the addition of the apartments in Oswego, the program will now be able to serve a total of 11 adults. The new facilities will offer residents a number of benefits.
According to Waite the new community residence in Fulton represents a new direction for the divisionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s housing programs that mirrors a statewide trend. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our community residences provide long term care for the residents. The population that we serve has a tendency to have more aging issues and more medical issues than the general population. Our new Fulton residence moves us away from the two-story design. It provides us with a ranch style home that is more manageable and allows us to better meet our consumerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s needs by making it easier to provide them with the long term care that they require,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Waite.
Program Manager, Renee Clark, also praised the transition to a single level ranch home. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It provides us with an increased opportunity to meet the needs of the individuals we serve. The layout of the house is designed to meet the changing needs associated with aging and will provide a safe and accessible home to individuals for years to come.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Waite explained that the new residence in Fulton, which was built by Contractor, Sam Raponi of Fulton, features a design which is much more accessible and comfortable for the residents. The ranch style home features five single bedrooms, two baths, a dining area, kitchen, den and a living room. The home is also totally handicapped accessible with roll in showers, lower kitchen counters, and other amenities to accommodate the residents. Funding for the project was provided by the New York State Office of Mental Retardation / Developmental Disabilities.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is a beautiful home that we are very proud of. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a nice addition to the area and our neighbors and the community have been very supportive of the project. We even received a number of donations to help enhance the homeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s surroundings. GallettaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Greenhouse, Oswego Wire and Devine Designs donated an assortment of plants and trees, and SamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Club donated money for additional landscaping items such as mulch and stone. We have received positive feedback and are happy to be a part of the neighborhood,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Waite.
The addition of the apartments in Oswego is also an exciting new adventure for the program as it offers the divisionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s consumers a whole new level of care and the opportunity to experience living in their own apartment. Waite explained that in addition to the six apartments for residents, there will also be a seventh apartment for OCO staff who provide supervision to the other residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
With the addition of these new residences OCOÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mental Hygiene Division now operates a total of 17 community residences and 1 respite residence that is used to provide relief to caregivers of developmentally disabled children or adults. The homes, as well as the supportive apartments, are licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Retardation / Developmental Disabilities and serve more than 120 individuals throughout Oswego County. The residences are supervised 24 hours a day / 7 days a week and provide individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to live independently in their community. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our community residences enable our consumers to live near their families and stay in the community they grew up in. It gives them an opportunity we would all wantÃ¢â‚¬Â¦to live independently to the best of their abilities,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Waite.
For more information on OCOÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Community Residences or the many services offered through the Mental Hygiene Division you may contact Patrick Waite at 598-4710. OCO, Inc is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966 and touches the lives of over 20,000 people annually. OCO, Inc is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member agency. For more information visit the website at www.oco.org.