Serving special needs
Local program going strong, but seeking help
by Joseph Passantino
Reporter staff writer
Jul 23, 2014 | 994 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SEEKING HELP – Joanne Tassone-Dost, assistant executive director, said helping hands are always welcomed at Windmill.
SEEKING HELP – Joanne Tassone-Dost, assistant executive director, said helping hands are always welcomed at Windmill.
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The Windmill Alliance is a diverse, multi-service organization dedicated to helping more than 40 developmentally disabled adults at the Windmill Center at 141 Broadway or one of its satellite facilities.

The array of supports and services are age appropriate and offered in the least restrictive environment to achieve goal-oriented results.

Vocational services, practical arts, personal care, and recreational and therapeutic opportunities maximize the independence of each person and focus on individual needs.

Work gives participants a cause and helps build their self-confidence.

“Our clients specialize in contract work such as mailings, labeling, recycling, and shredding,” said Joanne Tassone-Dost, assistant executive director.

Local businesses are welcome to use the services that are available through the Windmill program.

“We are always looking for new opportunities to fulfill our commitment to provide the dignity of work to our clients,” Tassone-Dost said.

Rainbow Thursdays is a great recreational program. Offered by the alliance and the Victory Arts Project, it is a community based art education program that connects developmentally disabled adults with professional artists who provide them with the materials and training to express themselves.

Aside from the Windmill Center, two other major components make up the umbrella of services.

One is Highways, located a few blocks away on Hobart Avenue, which provides community support through crisis intervention, counseling, supportive employment training, and a thrift shop that provides emergency services, food, and clothing to those in need.

“You can help us to help others through donations of new or gently used clothing, food, furniture, or even past treasures,” said a Highways spokesperson. “Or, you volunteer and become a friend, a job coach, or a mentor to those less fortunate.”

The third major Windmill offering is the supervised apartments program.

“Our supervised apartments program provides our adult developmentally disabled a safe, comfortable, share residency with 24-hour supervision,” Tassone-Dost said.

The program offers training and support for residents. Its goal is to facilitate residents’ inclusion in the community and maximum independence.

“This is in order to provide each individual with the quality of life that is inherent to all citizens,” Tassone-Dost said.

Help is welcomed

In an era of government cutbacks and sharply reduced grants, Windmill seeks help from organizations and individuals to continue the alliance’s work.

Grants, other monetary donations, and gifts in kind are all welcome.

Tassone-Dost said she has a wish list, featureing everything up to and including additional vehicles for the center or building an additional residential facility.

“It’s hard to keep up the great quality of services with great employees with annually decreasing funding,” she said. “Any helping hand would be greatly appreciated.”

Contact information

For general information about Windmill, visit www.windmillalliance.org, call (201) 858-4460 or stop by 141 Broadway. The center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information about Highways, call the main store at (201) 471-2635 or Rev. Rose Hassan at 201-471-2634. Highway’s hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Windmill Alliance, Inc. is sponsored by Trinity Parish in Bergen Point, 141 Broadway.

E-mail joepass@hudsonreporter.com

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