- Stories & Testimonials
- People with Disabilities
When Aaron turned 25, his frustration at not being able to move out of his mother’s apartment and be more independent grew. His mother, Judy, wondered how Aaron would be able to take this step. With his developmental and physical challenges, Aaron struggled to manage everyday tasks—like preparing a healthy meal and keeping track of his medications and medical appointments. As a single parent, Judy feared what would happen to Aaron if something happened to her. Mother and son felt stuck—and all on their own. Then a friend suggested Judy call JFCS.
For more than 20 years, individuals of all ages with all kinds of disabling conditions and their families have turned to JFCS’ Disabilities Services for help to live as independently as possible.
Calls for assistance to JFCS’ Disabilities Services have increased by 50 percent during this pandemic. Thanks to the generosity of supporters and the dedication of volunteers, people at greater risk of COVID-19 due to their physical disabilities are receiving comprehensive assistance, such as food, home care, and counseling, to stay safe and healthy.
Beyond essentials, JFCS’ Shupin Social (e)Club is ensuring people with disabilities feel connected with a community. Members have come together online for Jewish holiday celebrations, arts and crafts activities, and games. “Being together and feeling seen and heard means all the more when mainstream online events often do not take into account the needs of people with disabilities,” says Ryan Berman, Director of Disability Services.
“I watch Aaron interact with his new community of friends online during Shupin (e)Club,” says Judy. “For the first time since becoming an adult, he has a feeling of belonging. I am so very grateful.”
With the one-to-one support from an ILS coach, Aaron’s independent living skills are growing stronger week by week. Judy’s worries have eased now that she knows Aaron is connected with the system of care at JFCS’ Disabilities Services. She has hope for her son to have a rich and independent life with a supportive community.
JFCS is here for everyone in our community. Our community is fulfilling a long-held dream: to expand JFCS’ Disabilities Services’ and Gary Shupin Independent Living Community and create an “urban kibbutz” in the heart of San Francisco. And this dream could not be realized without the humanitarian vision of our supporters. Among them, Terry and John Levin, who years ago helped to address a glaring gap in care in the community and who inspire today’s program. Special gratitude also to Barbara Bakar and the Gerson and Barbara Bakar Foundation for creating a national model of urban community support for persons with developmental disabilities.
To learn more about JFCS’ services to our community or to support JFCS’ Disability Services and Gary Shupin Independent Living Community, please contact Barbara Farber at [email protected] / 415-449-3858 or click here to make a donation online.