5th Annual Village Run/Walk
Valley Village will host the 5thAnnual Village Run/Walk on Sunday, November 3, from 7am to noon at Anthony C. Beilenson Park at Beautiful Lake Balboa. The event features a 5 and 10k run. All participants are welcome, whether you are a hardcore runner or just feel like stretching your legs. There are some great volunteer opportunities available. Help with set up, cheer the runners along the course, volunteer for the festival itself, man water stations, help with crosswalks, and so on.
Visitwww.villagerunwalk.orgto learn more about the event, register to run or volunteer! Last year's event brought over 300 people together to support Valley Village Programs. The goal for this year is 450 – so let's make it happen!
Valley Village was founded by a small group of parents in 1971. These parents wanted to ensure that as they aged and could no longer care for them, their adult children with disabilities had a place to continue their enrichment and lead healthy, happy lives. Today Valley Village serves 400 men and women with developmental and intellectual disabilities through semi-independent condos, 14 family-style homes, 3 homes that offer nursing care, 2 adult development centers and 2 adult day health care centers. All programs are in the San Fernando Valley.
Valley Village offers day programs for these individuals. These programs include art therapy, music therapy, physical therapy, gross motor skills, communications classes, a daily living class and a host of others. "Everything that we do is meant to help each individual be as independent as possible," says Matthew Swearman, Senior Director of Development and Donor Relations for Valley Village. "These are enriching activities, and everything is community-based."
There are 18 group homes in the San Fernando Valley with over 100 program participants through the residential program. The individuals enrolled in the program receive 24-hour care, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Valley Village works with each individual to help him or her achieve as much independence as possible. Each person has a plan, has goals, and is matched up to the right care providers for the right aspects of the program. Services are then perfectly suited to him or her.
Valley Village is unique in its residential group homes. There are 6 residents to a home, either male or female as well as live-in care providers. But the homes are just that – homey. "It doesn't feel like a group home, you walk into these houses and it just looks like anyone else's home," says Matthew. "There are family pictures on the walls, board games on the shelves, residents eat family style and can decorate their bedrooms exactly as they want."
Also, there is the semi-independent condo program. This is very different from other group homes in that each resident must be able to either hold a job or a volunteer gig. They have responsibilities like helping pay rent, buying groceries, and managing bills, but they also have support to help when it's needed.
Finally, Valley Village offers two medical homes. These programs have nurses on staff to work with clients who have higher medical needs and are typically twelve people to a house.
The Annual Village Run/Walk began five years ago. The event works to raise visibility and awareness of Valley Village and the people they serve in the community. People can participate in several ways: You can volunteer to help with the event, participate as a runner or sponsor or host a festival booth. All funds raised through this event support the programs of Valley Village.
Visit www.villagerunwalk.org for more information about the event, to register as a runner or to volunteer!