By Todd Cohen
HIGH POINT, N.C. — The Arc of High Point, formed in 1954 to serve adults and children with developmental disabilities, mainly mental retardation, has a new president and is expanding its services, fine-tuning its message and gearing up its fundraising.
“My focus is to get the staff completely in tune with providing the best services possible and raising awareness, knowledge and understanding about disability issues,” says Justin D ‘Joseph, who joined the group in June after serving as director of vocational services for the Association for the Help of Retarded Children in New York.
With an annual budget of more than $1.5 million, The Arc serves 250 people a year through day-care, residential and vocational programs.
The day-care program, serving 15 children ages three to 21, opened its doors in November to children without disabilities.
The goal, D’Joseph says, is to “provide an inclusive environment for all children, where each gains from the experience of interacting with the other.”
The Arc, which operates four homes in High Point and Jamestown that offer supervised-living or intermediate-care services for 21 residents, in January will begin offering independent-living services for 10 adults in a new housing complex in Greensboro.
Residents of the complex, built with funds donated by Lutheran Church of the Resurrection on Friendly Avenue, will receive support and training from The Arc under a program funded by the Guilford Center with state dollars allocated by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.
Assistance and training focus on basic needs such as budgeting, cooking, laundry and housecleaning.
The Arc also offers a vocational program that finds jobs and provides on-the-job training for disabled persons who work for more than 50 area employers. After The Arc matches adults with jobs geared to their vocational interests, coaches work alongside them until they learn their jobs.
To help hone its message, The Arc, a local chapter of The Arc of North Carolina, has adapted the statewide group’s logo to include the chapter’s new theme: “finding the ability in each of us.”
The Arc also has kicked off its annual fund drive, combining it for the first time with its annual membership drive. The goal of this year’s drive is $5,000, up from $1,000 the group raised two years ago.
“When a person gives money to The Arc,” D’Joseph says, “they’re investing in the future of the people we serve.”