80 West Grand St, New Jersey, Elizabeth 07202
Community Access Unlimited (CAU) is a non-profit human services agency that provides support services for youth and adults with disabilities. CAU is a non-profit, IRS designated 501 (c)(3) organization. Our mission is to provide community access through effective and comprehensive support services for at-risk youth and individuals with disabilities, giving them the opportunity to live independently and to lead normal and productive lives as citizens integrated into the community. CAU also takes on the challenge of developing affordable housing. Services CAU has supported people with disabilities and youth aging out of foster care since 1979. We provide individualized, in-home services. You can select from a broad array of available supports. Although we offer multiple housing options, you need not reside in agency-supported housing to benefit from our services. Our services include: Independent Living Skills (ILS) Training CAU assesses and trains peoplein everyday independent living skills such as menu planning, cooking, shopping, household maintenance, personal grooming, and travel training. ILS is incorporated into all CAU activites and services. Individual and group training options are available. Vocational/Employment Services CAU conducts vocational assessments, job training and employment placement services. Included are specific job skills training pertinent to a person's interests and abilities, developing interpersonal skills as well as paid training opportunities. Money Management Training Budgeting and money management are crucial skills to maintaining independence within the community. CAU helps individuals learn about budgeting and managing money though a specialized curriculum as well as through everyday activities such as shopping, social, and recreational pursuits. Recreation and Creative Expression A variery of activities are offered on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to individuals including supervised weekend getaways and vacations. CAU also provides creative experiences through the arts. Past projects have included a member choir and performances, photography classes and exhibits, fine arts and crafts. Housing CAU owns and manages affordable housing for people with disabilities, youth transitioning to adulthood, and people with affordable housing needs. Housing units are located throughout Union County and consists of emerfency youth and adult shelter facilities, single and multi-family homes, condominiums and apartments, as well as HomeSharing arrangements. Respite CAU offers respite services for caregivers caring for loved ones with a disability. Family Connection Family Connection meetings provide a forum for CAU family members and significant others to discuss concerns, voice suggestions, and meet with administrative staff. Presentations on a variety of relevant topics are scheduled throughout the year. Self-Advocacy Advocated are involved in legislative updates, letter writing campaigns, accessibility & voting campaigns, "Meet Your Candidates" events, attending state and national conferences and conducting professional workshops. CAU has one of the oldest and strongest self-advocacy groups in the state of New Jersey. Conferences and Training Each year, CAU coordinates and sponsors annual conferences that provide educational, vocational, networking and social opportunities for professionals, youth, and people with disabilities. Supports for Adults with Disabilities Program services range from around-the-clock, supervised, residential care to in-home supports offered two hours a week. CAU also provides emergencysupervised housing for up to sixty (60) days. Supports are designed and provided according to individual need and ability. Vocational training services provides part-time employment to members as a path toward future community employment. Supported employment services include skills assessment, job search training and assistance, job coaching, job development and follow-up. Residential Programs Emergency Capacity Systems Supports Program Advocacy & Recreation Transportation Supported Employment & Vocational Training Supports for Youth CAU provides a continuum of residential serevices, life skills training, after-school programming, recreation programs, and behavioral assessments for youth ages 0 through 21 years who are living at home. Referrals to the program are made from the NJ Department of Children and Families. CAU also offers independent living skills assessment and training, vocational counseling and training, employment assistance and other support services to youth ages 13-21 who reside in out-of-home placements in Union County Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter Behavioral Assessments Union County Youth Shelter Transitional Opportunities Program Transitional Services Program Safe Place: For Youth...Some place To Go, Someone To Help: Youth who find themselves in need of help, homeless, etc can go to any designated Safe Place location around Union County are receive free assistance and support without feeling afraid of consequences. CAU youth shelter is a designated Safe Place location at 508 Westminister Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ 07202. For Help Call 908-354-5420 or TEXT "SAFE" with your current location (address/city/state) to 69866 to find a place with the Safe Place sign. More info at www.nationalsafeplace.org and www.caunj.org Community Support Program CSP) CSP is a fee-for-service program for youth and adults with special needs encompassinjg a wide array of independent living skills training, employment assistance and social and educational activities. Individuals and family members design an affordable service plan specific to a person's unique needs. Services design an affordable service plan specific to a person's unique needs. Services are provided in-home throughout central and northern New Jersey. The Parent Enrichment Program (PEP) PEP supports families through the provision of parent education classes and medical and health care linkages. This program offers group parenting classes, in-home visits, a tutoring service to school age children, and social opportunities. Personal Preference Program (PPP) CAU provides fiscal intermediary services to Medicaid-eligible individuals to manage their own personal care services. Individuals become employers and have direct control over the supports they choose to access and how they choose to access it. Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP) The Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP) provides a variety of residential support services through a continuum of care to at-risk youth ages 12 to 21. Youth living in any county of New Jersey are able to enter the program through a Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) or NJ Division of Children's System of Care referral. While residing in Elizabeth, youth receive a variety of independent living training and transitional living support services until they achieve the life skills needed to live independently. We refer to participants of our program as "members." Levels of the TOP Program: Members are accepted at any lvel of the program depending on the assessment of data and the member's level of need. Group Home Youth between 13 to 16 years of age are placed on the Group Home level. There is 24 hour daily supervision, including an awake overnight youth who have support, practical one-on-one daily living skills training, and therapeutic services are rendered. Supervised Transitional Living Program (STLP) Youth who are 16 to 18 years of age are eligible for this program. STLP provides 24-hour daily supervision and skills training in a group setting with awake overnight support. Semi Independent STLP level graduates who are 18 and older are eligible for this arrangement. While living in a less structured setting, youth receive advanced daily living skills training and prepare for independence with minimal guidance from nearby support counselors. Supported Housing This is the highest level within TOP. Here graduates of the supervised transitional living program are afforded the opportunity to move into a Community Access (CAU) apartement for a term of six (6) months or more as determined. Durinf this period, youth demonstrate the independent living skills they have acquired while maintaining a household. An account is set up in which funds may be applied towards securing another apartment. Aftercare Follow-up is provided, for a period of up to one year, for members who have transitioned out of the program. It allows a former member of TOP to come back years after leaving the program and ask for assistance. If a specific goal is identified beyond the one-year-mark, a three (3) month extension may be granted. Day Program Community Access Unlimited currently provides structured life skills training for youth not enrolled in school or who are unemployed. The Day Program ensures that youth receiving support from TOP are actively participating in an employment training workshop, a GED program, or volunteer job practicum. Each member must be involved in a minimum of a 30 hour per week activity. Day Program uses materials such as Life Skills Curriculum and Emploument Skills training. Services TOP Members Reveive: 24-Hour Supervided Residential Living Community Services for adolescents in Union, Essex, and Middlesex counties Daily Living Skills Training (needs are assessed and youth meetings) Examples of Training: Budgeting Food Shopping Laundry Career Planning Job Placemebt Case Management Advocacy and Outreach NJ Approved Life Skills Curriculum Communication Skills Written Verbal Interpersonal Educational Counseling Vocational College Employment Resume Writing Job seeking Interviewing Housing Assistance Aparment Search/Rental Furnishing Drug and Alcohol Awarness TOP Eligibility Criteria: You have an involvement ina CSOC/DCP&P/UCM Case or are a self-referral 13 to 21 years of age Have the potential for self-medication Have the ability to participate in a day progrm- i.e. vocational workshop, competitive employent, or school No psychiatric hospitalization within the last year No fire setting within the past 2 years No serious criminal behavior within the past year No serious physical violence within the past year Not actively abusing drugs or alcohol Willing to comply with program rules and structure Only Tier 1 sex offenders All cases are evaluated on an individual basis. These criteria serve only as a general guideline. Transitional Services Program (TSP) The Transitional Services Program offers independent living skills to adolescents who have been referred by DCP&P and the Department of CHildren and Families currently living in any out-of-home placement setting within Union County. Our training sessions, which include the New Jersey Approved Life Skills Curriculum, are offered on a weekly basis in small groups on Saturday mornings. These Services include, but are not limited to, education, employment, daily living skills, communication skills, drug and alcohol awareness, and anger management. Individual meetings are set up to work on specific issues. Youth who are eligible for this particular program are Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P) adolescents between 15 and 21 years of age who ar eliving in Union COunty in one of the following out-of-home placements; foster home, group home, children's shelter, a residential treatment home or facility, or any other out-of-home placements financed by foster care maintenance payments. Aftercare Program Aftercare is a program designed to provide follow-up case management to young adults. Through Aftercare, we at Community Access Unlimited provide supportive services transitioning youth. This program is a continuation of services for independent living, which provides case management to the designated youth with assistance in finding employment, housing collegiate education and funding. Aftercare can also access Wraparound Funds to assist youth in their transition to total independence. Youth who are eligible for this program include young adults who have aged out of Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P) or have had their case closed (we also accept DCP&P referrals six months prior to case closure). Union County Youth Shelter The Union County Youth Shelter provides short-term (maximum 30 days) placement for youth that are referred from the Family Crisi Intervention Union, Juvenile Detention Intake Unit, Juvenile Criminal, or the Family Courts of Union County Services provided: Outreach, emergency shelter, self-care/daily living skills training, individual sessions with trained staff, nutrition education, on-site classroom w/NJ Certified Teacher of the Handicapped, recreational activities, referrals to community resources, therapeutic assessments upon request, medical follow up, medication monitoring, vocational trianing, supervised completion of court assigned community service hours, linkages to family support services, transportation to appointments, probation and court apperarances. Youth Self Advocacy Programs Member Action Committee (M.A.C.) The Member Action Committee (MAC) is an advocacy group run through the Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP) at CAU. The group is run by TOP memners with the assistance of staff advisors. Montly meetings are held to discuss trends, ideas, and issues that are happening in TOP. During these meetins, special events may be planned, change to rules or procedures may be suggested, and, on a quarterly basis, MAC gets to meet with the Administrative anel to directly discuss issues regarding TOP and advocacy for members. M.A.C. Attack M.A.C. Attack is a business run by youth. These youth conduct various presentations regarding making good decisions in life, teaching others how it feels to live in the system, and teach people about relationships. presentations are made on a local and national level.
MOU Status: Current with Bergen County