By Deb Silverthorn
The good works of Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI), will revolve through Dallas’ skyline at Reunion Tower, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 2. The community is invited to celebrate “Living the CHAILIFE,” commemorating the organization’s double chai year — 36 years of providing programs and services that enable adults with intellectual disabilities to live as independently as possible.
“I couldn’t be more excited for our guests to enjoy, to have fun, and for our supporters, staff and CHAI clients and residents to come together,” said David Romick, president of CHAI’s board of directors.
The event, which will take place on the Geo-Deck and Cloud Nine of Reunion Tower, will have roving entertainers, an interactive experience, and a menu created by Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty restaurant. Beverly Rossel and Ricki Shapiro are the event’s co-chairs, working with Development Chair Beverly Goldman, Romick, CHAI CEO Lisa Brodsky and CHAI Development Staffers Michelle Bach and Patsy Goodman.
“We are taking our celebration to the top. Reunion Tower is a very special place and we have so many wonderful surprises and plans for the evening,” Goodman said, noting that raising money and exposure for CHAI are what allow the services to continue. “There will be treats from the time guests enter the elevator (bring your smartphones) and they will continue as we take over the of the Tower.”
Established in 1983, CHAI is a nonsectarian, nonprofit corporation under Jewish auspices that provides programs and services to enable adults with intellectual disabilities to live full, rich lives in a safe environment and to participate meaningfully in the community.
“My hope is for CHAI to grow and to serve more,” said Romick, whose son Barry is a CHAI resident. “Our community has too many waiting for services — and, with the support of our community, CHAI will be able to provide high-quality care for more people like my son.”
He said that CHAI has provided various services for Barry and family since he was 15 years old. “For the last eight years he has been a resident and the quality and care he is provided can’t be compared,” Romick said. “I got involved and I love what I see, I love the community involvement, and my service for CHAI is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The CHAI management team is always open to recommendations and wanting only to make the organization better.”
CHAI services include room and board for 29 residents at its Bauer House, Levy House I and II, Miller House I and II, Todd House, Toub House and Yale House. Also available are health care and specialized therapy assistance, financial counseling and training, transportation, medical and therapy appointments and medication supervision, synagogue participation, volunteer opportunities, social activities, entitlement (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) shopping and bill pay assistance, resident documentation and family communication and support.
The organization’s programming includes the Wolens Program Services, which provides support services to CHAI residents, as well as to individuals living independently in the community or with loved ones. Life Skills trainers assist with activities of daily living such as social skills, budgeting, shopping, health and wellness and more. Supported Employment provides clients assistance with job search, resume building and on-the-job coaching. Club CHAI has regular social outings, while CHAI Connects offers support, education and mentorship to family members of CHAI residents and clients, or potential residents and clients.
CHAILIFE Co-chair Ricki Shapiro’s son Joel is a CHAI client who can live independently because of the support of many of CHAI’s programs. To Joel and the Shapiro family, CHAI means everything.
“The beauty of CHAI is the wide spectrum of services it provides and the people it has offering them,” she said. “For almost every family the greatest concern is what will happen to our family member when we are not here. CHAI answers that question with safety and security and a sense of family for every client and resident.”
To RSVP for the event, visit chaidallas.org/special-event or text CHAItix to 51555. For more information about Community Homes for Adults, Inc., call 214-373-8600.