The Bright Side Family

Initiative: Community Begins at Home

Grant years: 2023–24

thebrightsidefamily.org

Community Begins at Home is a nonprofit-led demonstration project that seeks to remedy the health and inclusivity challenges of residents aging with disabilities in Teaneck. This Bergen County township, like many suburban communities, has an older housing stock mostly built before the advent of universal design standards. As the name suggests, a key focus will be to assess any in-home barriers faced by individuals who have disabilities and then work to connect those residents with home-safety modifications and/or other needed services. The Bright Side Family, a veteran service provider that also leads an age-friendly community initiative in Teaneck, will recruit and train volunteers to conduct these home-safety assessments and its social work staff will offer support and intervention as needed.
The Bright Side Family

Initial project steps include holding focus group meetings and conducting a survey to help identify independent-living challenges and other barriers in the community. The Township of Teaneck and Heightened Independence and Progress (hipcil) are partners in this project, which will seek to foster more permanent advocacy on behalf of residents who have disabilities and raise awareness of the communitywide strategies that can be employed to promote better health and inclusivity for residents of all ages and abilities.