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OUN receives NYSARC Trust Services grant

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Fri, Feb 24th 2017 04:25 pm

Funds helped support recreational opportunities for people with disabilities

Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara received a $12,500 grant from the NYSARC Trust Services Board towards recreational opportunities for more than 150 local individuals supported by the agency with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. The grant, provided to OUN - the Niagara County Chapter of NYSARC - was used to supplement the costs of outings, enabling greater participation in community-based, integrated recreational activities. Some of these activities included attending movies and dining out at various local restaurants. Others included attending musical and theatrical performances, visiting theme parks, attending Bison Baseball games and Niagara University men's basketball games, participating in a boat cruise along the Erie Canal, riding the Maid of the Mist and participating in an escape room experience.

According to OUN, recreation therapy provides remarkable rewards for individuals living with a developmental disability, as it aids the development of skills necessary to enhance their functional independence and promote a higher quality of life for them and their family. It also stated, while giving family members a respite, recreational activities enable an individual to make new friends and participate in a variety of social and physically oriented community-based activities.

The NYSARC Trust also provided remainder fund grants totaling $1,466,000 to support NYSARC guardianship programs across New York state. A total of $1,874,000 in remainder grants was awarded in 2016 to support recreation and guardianship programs statewide. NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts that enable people with disabilities to remain in their home and community, while retaining Medicaid services and other government benefits. For more information, visit www.nysarctrustservices.org, call 1-518-439-8323 or 1-800-735-8924 or email [email protected].

OUN awarded funding for generator

Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara also announced it has been awarded $449,275 in funding from the Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program, which is administered through the Dormitory Authority of the state of New York.

The project, "Safely Sheltering in Place Vulnerable Citizens," will allow for the purchase and installation of generators.

The generators will allow the agency to shelter in place individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities supported by Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara at two program buildings and 18 residential sites.

It will also help ensure the function of essential equipment and therapies during power outages. In addition, it will allow for the preservation of the communications systems allowing for uninterrupted access.

Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara Executive Director Mari Howard said, "As financial resources for our field are by far one of the biggest challenges we currently face, we are relying more and more on grant opportunities to help bridge the gap in funding. We are extremely grateful to receive a NICIP grant to assist us in our mission of providing the best possible supports to individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities."

Award recipients were selected through a competitive RFP process and applications were evaluated based on the scope of the proposed project; the number of people who will benefit; how critical the project is for assisting the nonprofit serve its target population; as well as other factors.

Approximately $100 million in grants were awarded to 237 nonprofit applicants from across the state.

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