Judith Creed Horizons for Achieving Independence

Providing independent living, vocational, and educational support so that adults with intellectual disabilities and autism may live and work productively in the community, all with Jewish programming available 

Judith Creed Horizons for Achieving Independence (JCHAI) provides independent living, vocational, and educational support so that adults with intellectual disabilities and autism can live and work productively in the community. Parents who worried that their Jewish adult children with disabilities would have no one to care for them when they were no longer able to were the catalyst behind the formation of JCHAI. Thirty years later, JCHAI has expanded to provide not only independent living services in a variety of settings to a large age range (18 to 80) but also vocational training and social opportunities for young adults looking to transition into new lives in the community. 

JCHAI serves clients in three programs. JCHAI at Home brings social workers into clients’ own homes to teach them the skills they need to succeed in living and working independently. JCHAI Transitions imparts skills such as money management, food shopping and preparation, computer proficiency, and social-media literacy, and teaches job interview and vocational skills through classes and outings. JCHAI Apartment provides the skills needed for daily independent living and offers vocational and social support services for a small group of adults who live in a large apartment complex in the Philadelphia suburbs. Something is working: JCHAI’s rate of integrated employment for clients is 75 percent, four times the national average. Maybe the secret is that JCHAI doesn’t believe in limits. It offers classes in subjects that other organizations may not consider in the realm of reality for people with disabilities. It works with elected representatives to influence policy. Because JCHAI doesn’t see limits, it shouldn’t be surprising that it sees a lot of success. Parents of clients report that they are able to go on vacation for the first time in decades. Clients who never thought they could thrive independently have learned to live in their own apartments and take public transportation to work. You can’t spell JCHAI without “chai” and perhaps that’s not a coincidence; JCHAI is giving clients a better quality of life. 

  • Region

    Pennsylvania
  • Population Served

    20s & 30s Adults Disabilities
  • Program Area(s)

    Advocacy Disabilities Social Services
  • Life Cycle Stage

    Legacy
  • Contact

    Stacy Levitan
  • Email

    stacylevitan@jchai.org
  • Phone

    610-922-2480
  • Website

    jchai.org
  • Twitter

    @jchaiservices
  • Facebook

    jchaiservices
  • Address

    Federation Hall 274 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
  • founded

    1987
  • board chair

    Judith Creed
  • 2017 expenses

    $2,600,000

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