Bridgeway services extended to Gulfport

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Saint Francis Community Services, which operates Bridgeway Apartments in Picayune, will extend its services to the Cheshire Group Home in Gulfport starting Aug. 1.

Cheshire Group Home offers the same services as Bridgeway, a supportive program that provides supervised and shared living in addition to helping its residents seek out and obtain employment. Cheshire Group Home offers those services to about 20 residents diagnosed with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD), Saint Francis Mississippi Director of Operations Jason Kirkland said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Kirkland said Saint Francis Community Services is certified by the Department of Mental Health and by extending those services to the Gulfport area he aims to help those residents secure employment at a success rate similar to what they have seen here in Picayune.

Within Bridgeway Apartments in Picayune, 30 people diagnosed with IDD have a home and 28 of those residents have been successful in securing employment through the community living program, he said.

Saint Francis Community Services aims to help the Cheshire Group Home program provide those residents with the same quality of life as the residents at Bridgeway, Kirkland said.

Assisting these citizens in securing employment encourages them to get involved with their community, make new friends and gives them a sense of self-worth, Kirkland said. It encourages them to earn additional income beyond their Social Security benefits while working jobs they enjoy, he said.

The program focuses on identifying the strengths of individuals with IDD, determines their area of interest and helps them secure jobs that fit their skills, Kirkland said.

“The ultimate goal is to help them become completely independent on their job,” he said.