Up & Coming Weekly

April 09, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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10 UCW APRIL 10-16, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM e concept of e Friendship House first came to fruition in Hol- land, Michigan, in 2007. Now, there is one in Fayetteville. e Friendship House serves young adults with intel- lectual development disabilities by pairing them with roommates who are often college students or young professionals. e goal is to help these young adults, but often, it's the room- mates who gain the most. e Friend- ship House Fayetteville is the fifth Friendship House to use this model. "We did change our model to focus more on health care and allied health care graduate students and students," said Tara Hinton, director of com- munity relations and philanthropy for ServiceSource. ServiceSource, a larger nonprofit, is the leasee in partnership with Highland Presbyterian Church of the campus. It oversees operations of Friendship House Fayetteville. Hinton explained that, while Friendship House Fayetteville is not a caretaking facility or group home, it developed its health care-leaning culture because of its resident director, Dr. Scott Cameron. "Dr. Cameron's experiences were life-changing and caused him to open up and become more passionate for those with disabilities, personally and through his practice of medicine. He is the visionary for Friendship House Fayetteville," she said. Cameron lived in Friendship House Durham during his seminary training. He is currently a neonatal intensive care unit physician at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. He also serves as the volunteer chaplain and resident direc- tor for Friendship House Fayetteville. "(Fayetteville community members) took a field trip about 3 1/2 years ago to e Friendship House Durham, and a couple of community members were interested in helping see this come to fruition," said Hinton. "We spent many hours there talking to the students, and they were all divinity students. "We learned how living at Friend- ship House changed them. One student made me tear up when he told me he signed up to make a difference, but the individuals changed him and made a difference in his life more than he could ever help them." Hinton added that the visitors trav- eled back home with the idea to build a Friendship House in Fayetteville — and they made it happen. In each apartment at Friendship House Fayetteville, there are four bed- rooms and three bathrooms. "ere are three people living with one friend resident, and the friend resident is a young person who has an intellectual development disability such as Autism or Down syndrome," said Hinton. "e goal for those par- ties is for the friend resident to maxi- mize their interdependence, whether that's cooking, budgeting, grocery shopping or transportation to a job — and ServiceSource helps with that piece of the puzzle." Hinton added ServiceSource has a job coach who helps the friend resi- dents obtain gainful employment, find volunteer positions in the community and become productive. e other three roommates, usually students, are there to share life and friendship with the resident. is gives the resi- dent the ability to live amongst their peers and feel included. "Our focus today is recruiting stu- dents and young professionals," said Hinton. "is is a wonderful oppor- tunity to look at people with differ- ent abilities and spiritual gifts and to appreciate those gifts and talents — because none of us are perfect." All-inclusive expenses for this living arrangement are $450 per month. e apartments are located in central Hay- mount. For more information, call 910-826-4699 ext. 249. The Friendship House: Changing lives by DR. SHANESSA FENNER PROFILE DR. SHANESSA FENNER, Prin- cipal, WT Brown Elementary School. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. e Friendship House Fayetteville is the fifth of its kind.

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