Life is tough enough for people who come into the world with all of their faculties intact, but for those with disabilities, life is even tougher.
The ALIVE program, one of Plumas Rural Services’ many offerings, helps people with developmental disabilities live productive and enriching lives.
The nonprofit organization will benefit from a “Keep it Local” fundraiser dinner at The Lodge at Whitehawk Restaurant on June 25. Restaurant owner Sharon Adams hosts several benefit dinners a year for nonprofit organizations in the community.
Tickets, $35, are available for the three-course dinner, silent auction and prize giveaway. No-host cocktail hour begins at 5 p.m. and dinner is served at 6 p.m. Reservations are required; call 836-4985 to reserve a seat.
ALIVE program activities
ALIVE offers a variety of day programs Monday through Friday that help participants, or “consumers,” learn a number of skills as well as a chance to recreate.
Vocational services include assessments, job skills, training and employment opportunities.
Practical independent living skills such as cooking, cleaning, money management and home safety, as well as relationship and sex education, are offered.
Day services and activities take place either in the community or at the ALIVE site located at the corner of Jackson and Buchanan streets.
Activities may include shopping, computer training, health and exercise programs, volunteer opportunities and housing searches.
The program also offers fun activities and field trips — some of them overnighters. One popular activity is weekly bowling at La Sierra Lanes in Quincy. The ALIVE bowlers have participated in Special Olympics bowling events for many years.
In addition to classes and group activities, consumers also benefit from one-on-one counseling and assistance with important activities such as banking and medical appointments.
Program coordinator Bob Battistone has been a fixture at ALIVE for 23 years. He explained that people with disabilities have often been looked upon as not having value. The ALIVE program shows its participants and their communities that they do indeed have value.
ALIVE is a paid provider and California state licensed facility that fulfills important social service functions for county residents.
Battistone explained that program participants are referred from other agencies – usually Far Northern Regional Center, where participants are assessed in order to receive the best resources.
ALIVE helps its consumers learn how to integrate and interact with the community. Programs such as recycling offer job skills for consumers while at the same time serving the community.
Each week, ALIVE consumers pick up recycling for businesses around town, including Feather Publishing, and sort it for processing.
Consumers separate out redeemables and cash them in for money that goes back into the program.
“The goal is to empower our consumers to live independently,” Battistone said. He said about 43 percent of ALIVE consumers currently live independently.
Once a week consumers have a peer meeting, without support staff, to discuss what activities they’d like to participate in that week.
After their meeting, they meet with a support specialist on staff and map out the week’s activities.
The program offers an important bridge between developmentally disabled adults and the community. It provides a social setting where consumers can get support, gain skills and become part of the community.
For more information call 283-0111.
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