Mesa center one of three Rise facilities to undergo recent revamp - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa center one of three Rise facilities to undergo recent revamp

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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 6:45 am

The recent re-opening of a facility completed a recent revamping of three facilities for Rise Services, including one in Mesa.

Director of Day and Employment Services Jeff Lerner said Rise decided to redo three of the facilities it acquired from Independent Services in order to upgrade the features at the San Tan Valley — it held its opening on Oct. 24 — Queen Creek and Mesa locations. Mesa’s site was the first of the three to open — the company held a grand opening ceremony for all three sites — back in June.

“Being the oldest building, it needed the most work,” he said, adding the facility was approximately seven years old.

Some of the changes the centers underwent included adding new furniture and upgrading a few of the features for the clients in order to create a place that’s “warm and comfortable” to visit.

The clients Rise Services work with are people and children with developmental disabilities and mental health issues, children in foster care and senior citizens. For the first group, Lerner said Rise helps prepare them for life after they age out of the public education system when they turn 21 years old.

“They’re students with nowhere else to go,” he said.

Lerner said Rise will work with those transitioning students and tailor the system to their individual needs, which can include improving social skills and the general quality of life.

For higher-functioning clients, the ultimate goal is to set them up so they can live on their own and support themselves. One of the way Rise tries to meet that goal is to provide job training and connect its clients with area businesses, which both gives an individual client a means of supporting him or herself and gets the person connected with the community.

“They’re branching out into the community so they’re not so sheltered,” he said.

Although the Mesa location is the largest — it serves 31 people and can work with up to 36 — Lerner said the need for the ones in Queen Creek and San Tan Valley, which serve 17 and five people, respectively, is derived from the lack of options outside of those areas. Having just the one in Mesa, he said, would create a situation where people would have to commute up two hours — one hour there and one back — that would consume a lot of service time.

More information about Rise is available by visiting riseservices.org.

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