FRA Residential Services Provide a Home, Not Just a House
Since 1969, when FRA opened Hope Center, the first residential home in the Interior for individuals with disabilities, the agency, established in 1967, has been dedicated to helping people live as independently as possible. Residential Services are person centered and emphasize choice, dignity, privacy, individuality and independence.
Carli, a 24-year-old woman who lives in one of FRA’s apartment complexes, says she likes living in her own place. “I really like living in my own apartment. I’m learning how to cook things and I have fun living here.”
Carli has a team of support that includes her mother, Residential Services, FRA Employment Services and care coordination. Carli can invite anyone she wants to planning meetings and is offered the opportunity to lead any meeting about her services. Her supports include healthcare, recreational activities, employment support, nutrition, and social development.
“I really appreciate it when staff take me places.” she said. “We go to the store, the library and lots of other places.” Carli’s services allow her to live in the community with the amount of support she needs to be as independent as possible and achieve the lifestyle she desires.
FRA currently owns or manages 11 homes and currently supports 58 residents in the homes. Each home is designed for security, style and comfort. Individuals living independently reside in their own home or apartment. Four-bedroom ranch-style homes are available for individuals who need more direct care. In all settings support staff is available 24-hours a day.
Hanging on the bedroom wall in one of FRA’s group homes is a poem titled, “A Mother’s Heart.” The poem walks through memories of raising a son with a developmental disability – the joys of motherhood and the triumph of milestones met. At last the poem reads, “I fear for the future. Who will love you like I do? Who will be there when I can’t?”
Wendy, the mother of Matthew, a man now living in one of FRA’s residential homes, said she wrote the poem years before her son moved into the group home. “I knew the day would come when he would move, but the idea of him being cared for by strangers was incredibly hard for me. I was afraid people wouldn’t get to know him. I was really afraid he would be unhappy.”
Matthew has been living in the home for four months now. “He’s doing incredibly well. He’s right at home,” she said. Most importantly he has developed great relationships with the staff. “I was talking with the supervisor of the house one day and she told me she’d had a staff meeting. She told me, ‘They love him. They really love him.’ And I just immediately burst into tears!” Years of fears were relieved, she said, and when she visits Matthew he is truly happy.
Established in 1967, Fairbanks Resource Agency (FRA) is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing supportive services, housing, referrals, employment and information for individuals who experience a disability. The goal of FRA is to assist individuals, and their family or caregiver, to achieve their highest potential where they live, learn and work.
Over the years, programs for individuals with disabilities have grown with the Fairbanks community and Interior Alaska. FRA provides accessible, effective services that support the dignity and independence of children, adolescents and adults with an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) or other complex behaviors, adults with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia and seniors experiencing frail or disabling conditions.
As one of the largest private employers based in Fairbanks Alaska, FRA employs approximately 400 qualified employees, 25% of whom are individuals with disabilities. Most importantly, FRA staff are dedicated to providing supports that enhance the lives to over 600 individuals and their families or guardian ranging in age from infants to senior adults.
|Information and location:
Fairbanks Resource Agency
805 Airport Way, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
Ph: 907.456.8901 Fax: 907.452.5171
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(except for holidays)