Tribe’s Community and Family Services Opens New Frogtown IRA Home
Aug 31, 2016
Akwesasne, NY – On Seskéha/August 31, 2016 the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe held a ribbon cutting ceremony for an Individual Residential Alternatives (IRA) home located at 60 Frogtown Road in the community of Akwesasne. Completion of the new IRA home will enable six residents currently residing at 34 High Street in Fort Covington, NY to relocate to a facility ideally suited to meet their needs.
“We have been providing residential services for over 20 years and have seen a consistent increase in the requests from the community to expand our services,” stated Family Support Program Doug Hamilton. He added, “The new IRA home is fully ADA compliant, which will allow us to better serve our clients as they age, rather than transferring them to a high care facility.”
The Tribe’s IRA program currently manages three facilities that provide residential habilitation services to individuals with disabilities. The services are person-centered and designed to promote independence based on the needs of the person. Services include teaching basic household chores, such as cooking and cleaning, money management and socialization skills, as well as teaching them skills necessary to be successfully employed.
The tribal program ensures that all of their client’s health and medical needs are met; which often includes providing transportation to appointments, employment, recreational activities or other needs as they arise. Their goal is to teach disabled individuals to be as independent as possible in all areas of their life. To assist individuals on this path, the IRA program offers a circle of support and an individualized service plan for its clients at each IRA home.
The three IRA facilities are located on Connors Road and Pyke Road in Akwesasne, as well as on High Street. The new location on Frogtown Road will enable the tribal program to replace the High Street facility, which is nearly 200-years old and has become very expensive to maintain. It will enable six clients to move into a home closer to the community and closer to the services provided by the IRA program. Each facility offers staffing support 24/7.
The Frogtown home is a prefabricated structure purchased from General Fine Homes and made by Simplex Industries, Inc. of Scranton, PA. It is approximately 2,300 square feet and includes six bedrooms, workshop and a two-car garage. It also includes handicap accessible kitchen counter tops and bathrooms, as well as a ramp and deck for clients to better access the home.
Construction was completed by the Tribe’s Maintenance Department, while the site work; including the foundation and clearing of the land; was done by Lazore’s Construction. The total cost to purchase the house and complete additional projects was $276,546; which was partially funded by the Tribal General Fund and Medicaid/Medicare.
The IRA program, as well as others overseen by the Tribe’s Division of Community and Family Services, continues to be responses to the needs of its clients. According to CFS Division Director Jamie Bay, “We hope to eventually transform the Frogtown home’s basement into an activity room, which will permit more comprehensive services that were previously unavailable due to our facility’s physical limitations.” He noted, “Spending less on maintenance will now free up resources to better serve our clients.”
PHOTO CAPTION: The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new Individual Residential Alternatives (IRA) home located at 60 Frogtown Road in Akwesasne. Pictured are (from left) Assistant Director Starr Thomas, Chief Ron LaFrance, Family Support Manager Doug Hamilton, Chief Eric Thompson, Chief Beverly Cook, Assistant Director Gloria Herne, Executive Director Tsiorasa Barreiro, and IRA Manager Emily Gardner.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People.