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Breakthrough: OPWDD Grants Hamaspik Brooklyn Three New Residences

Trio of Group Homes to Help Relieve Community Disability Housing Shortage


Responding to a call for backup from the front lines of disability services, the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities approved Hamaspik of Kings County this mid-December for three new community residences for people with disabilities.


The long-awaited approval came in a Dec. 12 letter from the OPWDD’s regional office to Mr. Hershel Wertheimer, Executive Director of Hamaspik of Kings County.


The approval, along with dozens like it, was also part of a formal announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo the following week outlining the awarding of $58.9 million to 53 agencies, including Hamaspik, to create 83 new homes across the state.


With an ear keenly tuned to the community’s voice, Hamaspik has been quietly pushing for new group homes for years now.


Extensive groundwork for the three homes is underway now, says Hamaspik of Kings County Director of Residential Services Cheskel Fisher.  A list of potential placements is being compiled, with those most in need getting priority, he reports.


Those individuals typically hail from homes with aging parents and increasing difficulty of care, he says.  Unlike day-shift workers, he points out, “parents never get to go home.”


But with the new Hamaspik residences, their children will.