The Independence Program is based on the premise that our clients are better served by their becoming more independent for themselves and their children than they are to continue to rely on governmental assistance for their futures. For participants in the program who complete educational, employment, marriage or other goals to stabilize their lives, they earn credits that can be used to get a better apartment, further their education, improve their employment opportunities, reduce their debt burden or maybe even start a business or give back to their communities.

Participants in the Independence Program earn credits by obtaining employment, marking employment anniversaries, taking steps to improve their resumes through education, learning about budgeting in order to make the most of their income, living in a stable marital relationship or by taking other steps that provide a more stable environment for themselves and their children.

Program Participants can earn up to 2,000 credits per year in the program up to a maximum of five years or 10,000 credits. The Independence Board meets four times a year to consider new applicants, to award credits for current Participants and to determine how those credits can be spent to enhance the independence and future of Participants. Credits translate into dollars that can be used for such purposes.

The Independence Program process is initiated by a Center’s Director, along with a client’s advocate, who identifies a client as a potential candidate for the Program. The Independence Board conducts an interview of the candidate. If the candidate is accepted into the Program, she becomes a Participant. She is then contacted by an Independence Coordinator who obtains background information from the Participant to see how she can best improve her prospects for independence. The Participant is then required to check in with the Coordinator periodically to report on her progress. The Coordinator then reports that progress to the Board for the awarding of credits.

The Program has witnessed Participants achieving significant milestones that have left the Participants in a much better position for their futures and the futures of their families.

Independence Board:

Services Coordinators:
Sam & Laura Baldassari

General Manager: Brian Murphy

Donations Coordinator:  Doug Paida

Joseph Baldassari, Esq., John Baldassari, Sam & Laura Baldassari, Kate Chetta, Pete Rawson, Dr. Donald Debrakeleer

Golf Outing Committee
Chairs: John Baldassari & OPEN
Joseph Baldassari, Janet Mancini, Brian Murphy, Pete Rawson, Penny Pavucek