By Todd Cohen
HIGH POINT, N.C. — As it prepares to turn 50 years old in February, the Arc of High Point continues to grow.
The group this year added three new programs and increased the number of people it serves to 400 from 250 last year.
New programs include respite care once a week to give individuals caring for disabled persons an evening off, free eye-care services provided by Winston-Salem ophthalmologist James D. Branch and an eight-week program to teach women how to detect cervical and breast cancer.
The Arc, which offers day-care, residential and vocational programs, also combined its annual fund and membership drive and increased its annual fundraising to $12,000 from $1,000 two years earlier, and has set a goal of $15,000 for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
The group, believed to be the state’s first Arc, has served as an advocacy group “working with consumers to help them get what they are entitled to in terms of education, employment, housing and building access,” says Justin D’Joseph, its president.
The Arc, which has an annual budget of more than $1.5 million, in the past five years began to offer group-home services, job placement, life-skills training and day-care services.
It recently won awards from the Arc of North Carolina for having the best communications program among roughly 100 local Arc chapters, and from the N.C. Rehabilitation Association for the overall quality of its program to help disabled adults find and master jobs.