BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN
The Family Center for Autism, a
program by nonprofit Life’s WORC,
celebrated the completion of its 44th
residential home in Rosedale with
a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April
30, three days after the organization
marked its 50th anniversary.
Life’s WORC was founded by Victoria
Schneps-Yunis, president of
Schneps Media, to provide residential
services for adults with intellectual
disabilities and autism, and offers a
variety of services and programs to
about 2,000 people.
Six autistic women in their 20s,
some coming from a different residential
facilities and others leaving their
families’ homes for the first time, will
call the beautiful corner lot house
Bayla Blackstock, 20, who loves to
cook and has a passion for Japanese
culture, feels relieved to be in the new
Her mom Minzy added that she also
feels relieved because she’s “safe and
Steve and Jennifer Lapidus were
thrilled that their daughter, 23-yearold
Sophie, was a resident.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a
long time, and she seems to be settling
in really well,” Jennifer Lapidus said.
The spacious house with a large,
inviting backyard features two separate
apartments with three bedrooms,
allowing the organization to provide
more attention to the young women
starting into adulthood.
Janet Koch, Life’s WORC chief executive
officer, noted that the organization
celebrated its 50th anniversary
because of Schneps’ dedication and
Koch welcomed the young women
to their new home and acknowledged
that the move was a major transition,
especially for the families.
“You hopefully will see great
things,” she said. “That’s typically
what we do see happen in our Life’s
Koch explained that Life’s WORC
is opening their 45th residence in May
and has been approved for five more —
making it a total of 50, in time for the
John Pfeifer, assistant executive
director of Residential Services, has
been a member of the Life’s WORC
team for over 20 years.
He explained that the organization
TIMESLEDGER | Q 4 NS.COM | MAY 14-MAY 20, 2021
Life’s WORC’s staff and residents celebrate the opening of a new home with a
ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
starts with a screening process to
make sure that the future roommates
complement each other and assists
them with a smooth transition to their
“That’s sometimes difficult to the
very nature of disability, but that’s one
of the things that we do very well at
Life’s WORC,” Pfeifer said. “We want
to be all-inclusive, but we also have to
put a group of people together that we
feel will grow together, long into the
Pfeiffer reflected on his 20 years
working for Life’s WORC.
“I can remember people that moved
in, in my first year and how much
they’ve grown,” Pfeiffer said. “People
have gotten jobs, people have become
very active in their community, people
have become self-advocates and outspoken.”
He also said some of the long-term
residents have even become friends.
“They’re a part of my life, they
know my family, and I know their family,”
Pfeiffer said. “So it’s a beautiful
Life’s WORC celebrates new
residential home in Rosedale
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