RISE and TEAM Work: Developing skills for an independent life

Rise & TEAM

The Neighborhood Network (NN) is our service model that promotes independence and peace of mind for those who want to live in their own home.  At its core, the NN fuses remote support with direct/on-demand support–but we realize life is more than a series of needs. Instead, a satisfying and purposeful life is one where learning environments are created for each person to contribute talents and energy to help neighbors, build independence, and gain valuable skills.  

GoodLife’s uniquely-created work programs, TEAM Work and RISE, allow individuals with I/DD within the NN to work, learn and grow in a safe, inclusive and familiar environment.

RISE is a day-services program for semi-independent adults to practice becoming a more independent, active member and leader within the community. The RISE curriculum focuses on building social skills, budgeting and money management, life skills development and job readiness. RISE participants engage in activities that meet four primary goals:

  1. Explore the Community: Identify and explore interests, hobbies and local opportunities for learning.
  2. Build Independent Living Skills: Hone skills needed to manage a home: money management, cooking, resume-building, etc.
  3. Community Service: Build intentional, caring communities on principles of giving back through volunteering.
  4. Peer Mentoring: Learn leadership, problem solving and team building tools to developing our next community leaders.

“We found that many of our I/DD residents want to be challenged at a higher level than traditional special needs programming offers,” says Program Coordinator Jenni Bryan.  “They want to learn and grow with others like them to feel included and advocated for.”

When not out in the community, participants spend time at The RISE Clubhouse meal planning and cooking, doing laundry, exercising, playing games and socializing. RISE programming provides ways to get involved, as well as a place to hang out, have fun, and relax – all while mastering the skills it takes to grow as individuals and live independently.

Our Two Employees Accomplish More (TEAM) Work program provides residents with a job of up to 15 hours per week at minimum wage. Each position is paired with a skilled worker who can provide training, mentorship and skills to the job, resulting in more work getting done when two tackle it together. Not only does this help ensure that the job is done to employer standards, but also provides a long-term solution for employment for those who historically need support in the workplace.

GoodLife pays special attention to prepare TEAM Work participants prior to entering the workforce, as well. “As a mother of a 17 year old son with Downs Syndrome, I know what it takes to go out into the community,” shares Jenni. “We give them training within GoodLife first, like workplace social cues, hygiene and attention to detail. We may work on personal shopping for a neighbor first to learn how to use a credit card and make a list, put groceries away, develop skills of supervision and how to take positive/negative feedback. This sets them up for success.”

Jenni shares further that preparing, supporting and advocating for individuals with I/DD to live independently is truly changing the world. “The I/DD population realizes they need help, and it can affect their self-esteem. To put them in the position to be the ones helping others, while also receiving the help they need to live as independent adults allows them to feel appreciated and loved. They just blossom.”

Want to know more?  Contact us to learn more about our RISE and TEAM Work programs.