Community Residential Program

Realistic Job Preview Community Residential Programs

Description of service provided:

Dickinson Center, Inc. operates three community residential facilities, or group homes, in Elk County and one in Potter County. Direct care staff employed in these group homes provide services to adults with intellectual disabilities who choose to live in a community setting. Our goal is to encourage independent quality lifestyles while ensuring the safety, welfare, and health of the individuals we serve.

Staff at the group homes provide 24-hour care and supervision for the consumers. Each home provides support to 3-4 people (Both Metoxet and Montmorenci homes are licensed for 4 people). The group homes are individualized, and every effort is made to operate the home and respond to the consumers in a manner that suits their desires and interests. Staff provide support that promotes each consumer’s independence while allowing them to accomplish everyday tasks. Each consumer’s role in self-care, cooking, laundry, and upkeep of their home is based not only on their interests, but on their capacity to participate in the task at hand.

During the week, the consumers have the option to work or volunteer within their community. They may also attend day programs where they spend time with other adults developing new skills through life experiences that will enhance their self-identity. At home, the consumers are encouraged to make healthy choices and decisions while enhancing their skills and interests through personalized goals. They can often be found enjoying dinner on the back patio, painting their fingernails, playing board games, making a craft, or watching a favorite movie. Community events include shopping, eating out, picnics, dances, and local events.

Each person is encouraged to provide input into every aspect of their day in order that they may experience success and stability. Control in life, individuality, and freedom are all respected. Regular individual and group activities give each person the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their community, while exploring interests and developing new skills.

The group home system operates every day of the year. Direct care staff participate in an extensive orientation period and ongoing training. Emergency relief, or substitute, staff provide additional support for special events and for staff training opportunities and time off.

Direct care staff provide assistance to the consumers with cooking meals, house cleaning, laundry, and activity planning. For some consumers, they may assist with personal care such as bathing, dressing or eating. They may also assist people in taking medications, attending medical appointments, or exercising. Many of our consumers have physical disabilities. They may need assistance transferring from a wheelchair to a bed, moving from a sitting position to a standing position, or walking on uneven ground. The training that staff receive consistently reflects the individualized supports each person requires in order to enjoy a safe, comfortable and healthy home environment.

Geographic Area of Service:

The Elk County group homes are located in Ridgway, PA, while the Potter County home is in Coudersport, PA. Any adult with any intellectual disability, regardless of their current county of residence, can be considered for referral.

Admission Criteria:

Admission into the group homes is managed through the service coordination system of the Cameron/Elk Counties MH/MR Programs and Potter County Human Services. Any adult with an intellectual disability can be considered for referral. Once accepted, an annual plan of service is developed with each individual, based on their interests and abilities. The plan is easily adapted to their changing needs. Supports are individualized, staff are held accountable in maintaining those supports, and families are included in the planning process.

How to Access Service:

Additional information on referral, employment, and volunteer opportunities is available by calling 814.776.2145.

How Individuals Pay for the Service:

Applicants may be determined eligible for funding provided through the Department of Public Welfare, Office of Developmental Programs, and local Administrative Entities such as Cameron and Elk Behavioral and Developmental Programs, and Potter County Human Services. The primary source of payment is Consolidated Waiver which uses federal and state monies to pay for authorized services. Administrative Entities may also use monies provided by the local county to fund services. This is called Mental Retardation Base Funding. In some cases, an individual may have enough private funds to pay for the service. All residents must pay rent.

Address and Hours of Operation:

Elk County Community Residential Program
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday
(Mailing address)
43 Servidea Drive
Ridgway, PA 15853

Potter County Community Residential Program
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday
(Mailing address)
605 N. Main Street
Coudersport, PA 16915