For the Residents:
It is estimated that there are currently over 125 Jewish adults over the age of 21 with developmental disabilities in the Metropolitan Chicago Jewish community. In addition, there are approximately 75 individuals in the community who will reach the age of 21 in the next three to five years.
The vast majority of these individuals live at home with aging parents who are deeply concerned about the future of their children. These individuals have been raised in traditional Jewish homes; observance of dietary laws, Sabbath, and the holidays are not only a critical aspect of their culture and identity, but for many, religious practice represents a singular joy in their lives.
These individuals must have residential options that enable them to live independent, Jewish lives in a framework that is comfortable, reassuring, and familiar. Like their typical peers, Jewish adults with disabilities need options for independent living that will enable them to be fully included members of the community.
For the families:
Many families who have a member with intellectual or developmental disabilities may find themselves overwhelmed with the constant demands of loving and properly caring for that family member while giving the appropriate attention to the whole family. This is especially true during busy times of the year such as around holidays and even during the evenings when the whole family, including other siblings of all ages, need to eat dinner, do homework and get to bed. The Respite Care Program is designed to address the need to provide relief to those families by offering professional, dependable, well-structured respite services during those times of need.
Debuting in February 2017, Libenu will provide meaningful programming and dinner three days per week to families who have a child with intellectual or developmental disabilities, aged five to fourteen.