05/18/2021 by Caren O’Brien-Edward
EVERYDAY HERO: Caren O’Brien-Edwards, Greystone Programs
Since May of 2020, seven people with either autism or other developmental disabilities requiring emergency housing moved into a Greystone Programs IRA (individual residential alternative) during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In April of 2021 alone, three people with extraordinary needs/circumstances moved in within a 3-week period. Directly responsible for supporting individuals through the process of accessing their forever homes with Greystone Programs, is Caren O’Brien-Edwards, Director of Community Services.
The stories of Christian, Spencer and Jennifer are heartbreaking – they could have easily fallen through the cracks of an overwhelmed society amidst a pandemic had it not been for the extraordinary compassion, effort and expertise put forth by Caren O’Brien-Edwards, a true Hometown Hero. Read their stories in Caren’s words:
“Christian is a young man that was struggling with stable housing and often found himself with his loving dad, spending time in a local homeless shelter during the pandemic. When we received his referral for residential services, we immediately recognized the intense need for stability in his life. I drove Christian and his parents to visit the home, and offered him a private bedroom for both he and his beloved pet bearded dragon "DanaBaby." Christian now enjoys his spacious beautiful home, the supports that Greystone offers and visits with his loving parents on weekends!
Spencer is a young man from the Rochester area. His single mom reached out to Greystone via our Facebook page, in desperation for support. I contacted her and heard the story of a young man with Autism, struggling to remain in his home due to intense behaviors and an extreme lack of services and supports for the family. Spencer was admitted to a hospital, where we screened him, we worked diligently with his mom and the hospital team until we were able to get transportation via ambulance from Rochester to Hyde Park, where he currently lives at a lovely Greystone residence!
In the late fall of 2020, I heard from a local woman in desperate need of help for her 33-year-old sister in Buffalo that she feared was being neglected. I provided her with suggestions and resources on how to help her sister (Adult Protective Services, MHLS, Guardianship information, OPWDD, etc). In April of 2021 I received a call from a nursing home in Buffalo stating a patient named Jennifer wanted to move to Greystone. Within a week's time we were able to have Jennifer move in. She loves her home and her new Greystone family.”
Caren O’Brien-Edwards is a Hometown Hero. She is outstanding in her role at Greystone Programs for providing Community Services for people with autism and other developmental disabilities in our local community. Her care, knowledge and extraordinary effort make a life-changing impact on those who might not otherwise have a voice.
Greystone Programs provides exceptional services and life-enriching opportunities for children, adults, and families living with Autism and other developmental disabilities. As a recognized human services provider, Greystone offers certified residential programs and community-based /non-residential programs that include habilitation services in a five-county region of the Hudson Valley, New York.
Caren O'Brien-Edwards, Director of Community Services, 700 South Drive Suite 203 Hopewell Junction, NY 12533. Phone: (845) 452 - 5772 Ext. 106 I Cell: (845) 891-3069; Fax: (845) 452 – 9338 I www.greystoneprograms.org; firstname.lastname@example.org