Jewish housing for disabled adults adds two residences in S.F. J. – The Jewish News of Northern California

Posted By on October 19, 2022

Heather Ostrau has lived in the Gary Shupin Independent Living Community, described as an urban kibbutz for adults with developmental challenges, since fall 2019. Prior to that, she was active in the Shupin Social Club, which offers activities and services to nonresidents.

Its a very nice community, and I like how supportive the staff are, Ostrau said.

Ostrau is autistic, which she said makes living alone difficult. At Shupin, she maintains her own apartment, cooks her own meals and holds a job, while also having access to support and services when needed.

Weve always wanted her to be as independent as possible, Heathers mother, Sandy, said. This program provides the assistance to get her to be as independent as she can be.

Now the Shupin Community is growing nearly doubling its capacity to accommodate 24 residents when it opens two new residences in the coming year. The program, run by S.F.-based Jewish Family and Childrens Services, is the only one of its kind in San Francisco.

Its a very nice community, and I like how supportive the staff are.

[We create] a supportive, nurturing community for people who have various kinds of developmental challenges and people who dont to be together, and to help those individuals who need the help to achieve their highest level of independent functioning, said JFCS executive director Anita Friedman.

About 150 individuals in all are served by the program, both the live-in residents and members of the Shupin Social Club.

With the addition of the two new buildings, Shupin will have a total of four residential units in the Laurel Heights neighborhood. The existing homes, Shupin House and Garys Place, accommodate 13 residents. Shupin House is open to men and women with experience living independently, while Garys Place welcomes men ages 18 to 34 living outside the family home for the first time and therefore requiring more day-to-day support. The level of support residents receive depends on their individual needs, Friedman said. They cook together, play games, go on outings and attend Shabbat services.

We wanted to not create a building that felt institutional, Friedman said. We wanted it to feel like a home.

The new residences, Adys Place and Gersons Place, will provide single-gender housing. Adys Place will be home to seven women, while Gersons Place will house four men.

The Shupin Community was established in 2009 with the donation of Shupin House by the Barbara and Gerson Bakar Foundation. It is in memory of Gerson Bakars nephew Gary Shupin, who lived with developmental disabilities. Shupin is an extension of JFCS disability services program, which works to provide social and educational aid to the Bay Area community. Services for adults with disabilities are often lacking, Friedman said, and JFCS and the Jewish community have stepped up to help fill the gap.

Adys Place and Gersons Place are being added to the Shupin Community with more help from the Bakar Foundation.

Ostrau is excited about the changes coming to her home. I think that it will be nice, because it will expand our friendship circle and will add more opportunities. she said. Well be able to serve more people.

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Jewish housing for disabled adults adds two residences in S.F. J. - The Jewish News of Northern California

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