At our 554 Vocational Center we assist people in finding jobs around the Grafton area. We access the local job service, check area newspapers, use the Internet and also learn of new jobs through friends. We have a recycling center where we offer curbside recycling to eight area towns plus a drop-off site. We complete contract work such as billings, folding, stapling, stuffing, sealing and sorting. We make personalized notepads and pens to advertise your business. We also make bows, business cards and offer janitorial services. We have an adult day program where retirement options are offered. These services focus upon social, recreational and therapeutic activities.
Our goal is to become more community orientated by joining clubs, using the library and volunteering at public schools, local nursing homes and daycares.
We enjoy participating in all of life’s activities. We are supported by staff to develop our living skills to be as independent as we possibly can be. We are encouraged to make choices throughout our day to increase our skills in all aspects of our lives. Some of the things we do involve our residential committee in which we all decide items such as planning of the annual Christmas Party, where and what to do on summer vacations.
The vacations are the best because we get to do most of the planning. We have gone to Winnipeg and stayed right downtown taking in all a city has to offer. We have gone to a number of resorts on Cass and Leech Lake in Minnesota. We enjoy these activities and also participating in various community activities on a regular basis. Staff support us in reaching and achieving our goals in life.
Some of the supports provided focus on developing daily living skills, leisure/recreation opportunities, medical needs, family communications, transportation to various activities, computer networking including using the national e-buddy system. In the past year, we went on various outings including a week vacation to Leech Lake, MN. We were able to go golfing and visit the Mississippi Headwaters along with other activities.
Supported Employment/Extended Services
Supported Employment/Extended Services currently provide training and support to over 60 persons with developmental disabilities as well as persons with mental health. Our department works with a variety of referral sources and other community agencies to provide the best possible service assisting people in finding and maintaining competitive employment of their choice.
Once the initial employment is found we then provide trained staff that work with and teach the supported employee the skills needed to maintain their position. Supports come in a variety of methods, from on-site support to intermittent stops to monitor progress and continued into visitation with the employee and employer away from the employment setting to continue to monitor satisfaction with their employment and anything else they wish to discuss.
Supported Employment reaches far beyond the scope of training and support, we are very active with employer education and advocacy and participate on several organizational committees which include The Fargo Moorhead Mayors committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities, Association of Persons in Supported Employment (APSE) and Agencies and Businesses Linked to Employment (ABLE) just to name a few.
All Seasons Laundry
All Seasons Laundry is a commercial laundry facility that does business with the local hospitals and nursing homes and numerous other businesses in the Grafton, Park River, Cavalier areas. Friendship, Inc. purchased the business in the spring of 2005 and has been running it successfully since. Our goal is for the people we serve to operate the business with staff helping along the way. Many of the people in our day program have gotten the chance to visit and work at the laundry and see what it is all about. So many positive comments have come from people who work there and staff is excited about this opportunity.