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October 19, 1984 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-10-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Friday, October 19, 1984







Quality Merchandise Since 1899

"The beg thing •.rn(

de ■ clIV . % i

reg. $32.95

Continued from Page 2



Farmington Hills

Mon. thru Sat. 10-6
Wed. & Fri. 10-9


Announces the Opening of His Southfield Office


Tearing Problems

October 1, 1984

Farmbrook Medical Complex
29877 Telegraph Road
Suite 301
Southfield, Michigan 48034

By Appointment





Debt consolidation, aircraft & marine
financing, business expansion, mtgs.,
venture capital, farm & agricultural -
trucking, funds, educational, inven-
tions, franchises, theatrical productions
funded, or for any sound purpose.
Write in confidence complete details of
your needs to:


Box 233 Montville, Connecticut 06353, U.S.A.
or if you are in a hurry call:


guys have specific duties that
they're responsible for,"
Sherry says. "Some of them
find this difficult to accept, be-
cause they spent 20 years in in-
stitutions before coming here.
But our goal is to help them
grow and become more inde-
Tom elaborates, "Everyone
helps with the chores around
the house. Each resident has a
laundry, cooking and trash
day. The residents do lawn
work and help shovel snow.
Even if they can shovel only a
foot of snow, they know that
they had a part in it. We all
pitch in to help."
Helping around the house is
just one part of a comprehen-
sive program that assists the
residents in learning daily liv-
ing skills. "For each resident, I
design five individual pro-
grams to help them learn
specific skills," Sherry ex-
plains. For example, a pro-
gram may deal with cooking or
how to use a phone. As we
work through the program, we
document the residents' pro-
gress. If the program isn't
working, we make some ad-
Five staff members from the
Jewish Association assist the
Schamantes with program ac-
tivities at the group home.
"We all try to teach the guys
to be independent so that they
don't rely on us all the time,"
Tom explains. "The ultimate
goal is to have the residents
live on their own. Realistically,
we know not everyone is going
to make it, but that's no reason
not to try."
Working outside the home is
one way to help the residents
reach this goal. All six men are
employed by the Jewish Voca-
tional Service. They spend the
morning completing simple
tasks such as piecework or
nut-and-bolt work. In the af-
ternoon, they attend adult
basic education classes, where
they learn to read and write.
Lack of privacy and freedom
were two other difficult ad-
justments the Schamantes had
to make when they became
live-in staff. We couldn't just
take off whenever we wanted
to anymore," Tom remembers.
"A staff person always has to
be in the house. And believe
me, it's just like a big family —
everyone knows what's hap-
pening in our private lives."
Living with six other people
isn't always easy for the
Schamantes, but they think the
advantages outweigh the dis-
advantages. "The guys have
enriched our lives so much,"
Sherry says. "I get a lot of satis-
faction seeing people who once
were in institutions, probably
sitting around all day, now
laughing and joking. Knowing
that I've done something to
improve their lives makes it all
For her five-year-old daugh-
ter, Christina, having big
brothers in the family is a lot of
fun. Christina perplexed her
classmates and teachers at
school one day with her pro-
nouncement that she has six

brothers — and that two of

them are 60 years old!
Like his daughter, Tom's
been influenced by the six
mentally retarded men who
share his life. "I'm more aware
of people's needs and the
wrong that's done to handi-
capped people," Tom says.
"People don't understand the
difference between mental re-
tardation and mental illnest,,
and so they're afraid. As I see . ,
it, educating people about
these issues is part of our job."
Before Tom and Sherry be-
came resident managers, they
were already aware of the con-
troversy that has surrounded
group homes since their incep-
tion. A major fear of group–
home opponents is that the
homes devalue property in the
"When we moved in four
years ago, the neighbors we-
ren't happy," Tom remembers,-
"So we worked twice as hard
to fit in. Now the neighbors
know that we're just regular
people, and we have a great re-
lationship with them. One of
our residents even acts as a
companion for the bedridden
man next door."
Tom and Sherry's dedication
hasn't gone unnoticed by those
who work with them. The
Jewish Association has pre-
sented both of them with
awards for their efforts.
"I can't say enough good
things about them," says Di-
rector Keller. "They've grown.
into the job. They're creative
people who are sincerely'
committed to the residents.
They respect the residents and
treat them as adults."
The residents have made a
lot of progress during the
years that Tom and Sherry-
have been with them, but the
Schamantes aren't content yet.
"There's so much more that
can be accomplished," Tom
says. "That's the great part
about working with the guys.
There's always a new chal-
lenge. It's an exciting job with
many rewards. We're planning
on being here a long time."


Soviet Jewry rally
staged in Montreal

Montreal (JTA) — About 3,000
persons held a mass demonstra-
tion on behalf of Soviet Jews in
downtown Montreal Sunday and
then marched on the Soviet Con-
sulate where, facing barred doors,
they demanded human rights for
Soviet Jewry and the right to'
Pupils and teachers from every,'
Jewish day school in the area par-
ticipated as did the two Jewish
Members of Parliament from the
Montreal area, Sheila Finestone
and Gerry Wiener. Herbert Marx,
a member of the Quebec National
Assembly, and Mayor J. Lang of
Cote St. Luke were also present
along with leaders of the subur-
ban communities.

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