Happy to be Home: Birch Family Services Residents Welcomed Back After Renovation

                    A bedroom at W. 149, newly renovated and awaiting its owner.

“They are happy to be home.”  

That is what Birch Family Services Resident Manager Maurice Coles said when asked how the individuals he supervises feel about their newly renovated home.  

At Birch Family Services, we strive to provide excellence and expertise in our programs and at our residences with 24-hour supervision. That is why it was decided that the residence on W. 149th Street, home to 10 of our individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, would be renovated and improved to accommodate them more comfortably and give them the room to grow and make the home their own.  

“I am very happy that their response to their new space has been favorable, and it shows on their faces,” said Deputy Director of Community Services Juno Greaves.” “Their return has been very positive and adjustment seamless.”  

The total renovation included enlarging all the bedrooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen and dining area. Before the renovations most of the beds in the bedrooms were twin sized, now everyone has full-size beds, which are appropriate for their sizes and age. Additionally, the bathrooms now have walk-in showers, and the basement recreation room has been divided to include a medication room and nurse’s station.  

“We received a lot more space than we had when we left,” said Coles. “It is a lot more open.” 

During the eight-month renovation period, residents were relocated to a hotel, where their daily learning and activities were not affected, but something was missing.  

“They missed their home,” said Maurice. “Once they came back, they loved their rooms and the bigger space.” 

The residence provides more than enough space for individuals to be able to move about the home, exercise, and make their rooms their own. Renovations also included the installation of a sprinkler system and the residence is now connected to a central monitoring system that monitors our fire alarm system to increase home safety. 

“I love it, it is a great place, and everything we could ask for was done,” said Maurice.