The projects and programs of TOV are made possible by our outstanding partner agencies. We are recognizing them periodically in our agency spotlight. This month, we are highlighting Friedman Place - A Community for Adults Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. Friedman Place is a non-profit Supportive Living Community for blind and visually impaired adults in Chicago. A full range of services and activities is provided so that residents’ days are healthy, dignified, and stimulating.
We asked Beth Elman, director of Activities and Volunteers, a couple questions about the agency and their involvement with TOV.
1. What is Friedman Place’s Mission?
Friedman Place provides housing and supportive services to adults who are blind or visually impaired, so that their lives can be healthy, dignified and stimulating. Friedman Place strives to be a primary force among professional organizations serving adults with visual disabilities. They provide a wide range of social psychosocial and medical services to our 85 diverse residents whose ages range from 22 to over 90. Ninety-percent of residents have a chronic health condition unrelated to blindness such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or kidney failure. Almost all the residents meet the Federal definition of Very Low Income and two-thirds the Poverty Level.
Specially trained staff work with the visual impaired and blind residents, providing social work and nursing services; housekeeping; meals; and a variety of programs and activities fitting resident needs and interests.
2. How do Volunteers help impact your agency?
The volunteers at Friedman Place provide a range of activities, many more than are required by the State regulations and nearly all residents take part in some activities over the course of a year. The activity department provide nearly 4,200 hours of activities this past year. The most popular activities were weaving, outside activities (e.g., concerts, theater, etc.), music, shopping, Uno, Bingo, bowling, reminiscing, along with religious services, creative writing, advocacy group, movies, musical history and more. These activities would not be possible without the help and assistants of our volunteers.
3. How long have you been working with volunteers from TOV?
We have worked with TOV for the past two to three years. We appreciate having the TOV volunteers so much. Many of our residents do not have the chance to be with family or friends during the holidays and the wonderful TOV volunteers have come to help in our dining room during these times. It brings such joy and comfort to our residents. Some TOV volunteers come to assist the staff on Sundays during lunch and dinner which provides companionship for our residents and eases the kitchen staff’s work load. Additionally, we have also had a corporate group volunteer with us. During this volunteering opportunity the staff and residents provided an educational component for the volunteers by residents sharing their lives stories as well as learning about blindness and playing bingo with the residents.
Having the TOV volunteers is a wonderful partnership!
We want to thank Beth and Friedman place for their valuable partnership with TOV.