Speaker 1 (00:00):

The opinions expressed in this program reflect only those of the participants and are not necessarily those of the sponsors, management or staff of WTBQ Radio, or FST Broadcasting Corporation,

Speaker 2 (00:12):


Speaker 4 (00:15):

Good afternoon and welcome. This is Lynn Allen Cione of the Orange County Chamber here on WTBQ on Orange Chamber Business-Wise, on this somewhat chilly sort of windy day in fall. Today our guests are Jim Forbes, the Executive Director of New Hope Community, and Jon Jon Thomas, the New Hope Community Agricultural Leader. And it’s gonna be a very, very good discussion. I’m very excited today that you guys came all the way down from Sullivan County and we’re gonna be talking about empowering people and giving people choices and let people determining their own future. So, welcome.

Speaker 5 (00:49):

It’s nice to be here, Lynn. Thanks for inviting us. We’re Excited.

Speaker 4 (00:51):

Oh, you’re, you are very welcome. I’m very, very excited. Now you’re in Orange County right now in Warwick, and you’re from New Hope. So you’re from the Sullivan County area, so not everybody may be familiar with New Hope. So why don’t we start with, with some background?

Speaker 5 (01:07):

Well, New Hope was founded back in 1975, and if you recall, in the development of the, the care of people with intellectual development of disabilities in those days, it was very non-traditional. There was really no focus on opportunity and choice.

Speaker 4 (01:23):

No, it was probably, warehousing, I think is probably more of an operative, an operative term.

Speaker 5 (01:26):

<Laugh> commonly used as, as a term. Yes. And today we’ve progressed New Hope has always been in a model of finding the individuals, helping the individual find their personal GPS. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> their gifts, their strength, their personal direction. And we do that helping them through supports, their medical supports, clinical supports, residential supports, and social means, social community-based activities and trying to do it in the most dignified setting, recognizing, of course, their their own self-direction.

Speaker 4 (02:06):

And, and I think that’s very concise because we, you know, we were chatting earlier before we went on air about how the, how there’s been a bit of a progression and, you know, now the, the terms that you use. And again, I’ll, I’ll say it again. I really love the term an internal GPS because that, that sets our location. But once we know our location, then we can set our destination correct. And to be able to, to use that terminology in in a, in a service environment of people working with people with disabilities is really a kind of a new, it’s a new understanding and it’s a, a very you use the term empowering, but really relinquishing for the agency, the organization to be relinquishing the control mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and letting other people make that determination. It’s probably very empowering, but it’s probably also a little scary sometimes, I would think, because, you know, you’re, you’re giving this over and how do you, how do you help people do that? Because you’re, you’re empowering them, but what is the mechanism that you, you’re able to do that with?

Speaker 5 (03:03):

Well, I think first of all, the agency has always been a focus on self-direction. And the principle ways we do that is by, again, bringing these tools around them with an individual support plan that is built towards developing their skills. Their interests, their strengths, their gifts. We always say, if you look at any of our folks who are disabled and see them as disabled, you’re missing most of the picture. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, most of the picture is really an immense array of gifts and talents. And our job through all of these supportive services is to help bring that out and to help them live a fuller life, a life like ourselves, a life we would like to live.

Speaker 4 (03:49):

But, you know, that did that, you know, again, that says so much because you’re, you’re dealing, you’re, you’re working with people first as a human being. So the initially, and that’s the way we all wanna be worked with. We want, we want to, we want people to look at us and see what our gifts are, what our talents are, and where we can go with that. So, to be able to, to have as your, as your culture to say, we’re, you know, here are these people, here are people we’re working with, they’re people. And then we work with their gifts, and then we help them to compensate and to fill in the gaps for whatever challenges that they’re faced with. That is, that is an amazing thing at any agency level, whether it’s, or a store level or anything. You know, to be able to approach people on an equal, equal playing field like that, I think is really, really important. And especially with people dealing with people who have challenges in their lives, whether they’re intellectual or physical or, you know, emotional or they, they’re faced with a crisis in their life. Because not everybody has a perfect life. So to be able to approach people from the person point of view first, I think is really, really important. And that kind of just infuses the rest of the culture of your organization.

Speaker 5 (04:52):

Yes. Person centeredness is, is what we’re about.

Speaker 4 (04:56):

Well, the, the other thing, and it says here in my notes, it says, enthusiastic. And that’s, that’s what, that’s what all of this sounds like. Absolutely. Because you communicate that then to, I would think to, to you, the people that you work with, you know that if you’re enthusiastic about them, how could they not be? How, how, but not be enthusiastic. So we, one of the things when I first, when I first came in and we first met you, you we talked about the agriculture component a little bit mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So before we get to that let’s just talk about some of the other services, because I know we’re gonna be spending a lot more time, a lot of time on the agriculture. So let’s talk about some of the actual services that gets to this, to this point. 

Speaker 5 (05:36):

Sure.  Well, there are many. I could, I could go on for hours.

Speaker 4 (05:39):

Well, we’ve got an hour.

Speaker 5 (05:40):

We’re not gonna do that. What we’ll take, we’ll take a few of the key ones. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, we, we, we talk about our Day Hab Programs. 

Speaker 4 (05:47):

Can syu just explain what that is? Not everybody’s familiar with the parlance.

Speaker 5 (05:49):

Well, yes. It’s basically made up of several activities. The Living Arts Center, which is where we, we provide engaging and very personalized programs to the individual according to their expressed desires. Something that helps them develop along, again, their, their mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, their path. We have a case I remember just only a few weeks ago where one of our young individuals came to me and said, Jim, I’m really, really happy, and why are you really happy? I wrote my first email to my mother the other day, and that came out of one of our activities, which was on computerization and learning the skills that we used today. So to be able to write an email to your mother, I mean, and, and what did she write back? She said, I love you, and I’m very happy. It doesn’t get better than that.

Speaker 4 (06:40):

It doesn’t, you know, we take those things for granted, but the, the, to be able to write an email, it’s so freeing and it’s so normal. It’s a, it’s, it’s normal, but you’re now, you’re able to communicate with people. So now, how do you, how do you have a computer lab?

Speaker 5 (06:53):

We have a computer lab, yes. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, and of course you know, there, there’s a formal side of it mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but then there’s an informal, we have a tremendously dedicated staff. We have a staffing of over 700 people at New Hope, and every one of them are the most dedicated, caring, compassionate people who ever want to meet. And so it’s just not necessarily, necessarily about the program mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but it’s also about the time down together in the houses. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> and the residential environment and, and spending time with people. It’s just a one-on-one environment or, and, but yet allowing the person to breathe mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So there’s, there’s this culture of learning and communication.

Speaker 4 (07:33):

No, that’s relationship. It’s all about relationship. It’s this relationship. I mean, when you’re, you’re saying that, you know, you’re, you’re teaching, you have structured, you know, formal time, but then to be able to sit back and just have that relationship go to, go to the houses or whatever else, because that’s what, that’s what powers the ability for people to accept the skills that they’re being taught. Because if I don’t trust you, you could be trying to teach me anything you want, and it’s not gonna happen. Yes. You know? So if I trust you, if you’re building the relationships between the people that you’re working with, your, your consumers, and your staff, that’s invaluable. Because to start at that foundation.

Speaker 5 (08:07):

Yes. And it’s quite a, an art in building that relationship and that relationship, even for many of our folks who are nonverbal or semi verbal mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, it’s that getting to understand the cues that the individuals put forth, reading them, and understanding. Everyone communicates in a very different way. Our job is to understand it, and then use that to help them establish their direction themselves.

Speaker 4 (08:35):

Do you understand what, how you just turned things completely on its head, that it’s your job to understand somebody, it’s not somebody else’s job to make you understand them.

Speaker 5 (08:45):


Speaker 4 (08:46):

That, that it’s, and so you’re, you’re taking such a responsibility for, for your staff, that your staff is responsible for understanding. That’s, that’s a huge thing. That is a really huge thing for your staff to, to understand that that’s their, that’s their job. They can’t just sit back and wait for somebody to make themselves clear.

Speaker 5 (09:06):

Yes. We’re very, very, very, we work hard at the com at mm-hmm. <Affirmative> at recruiting the right people. And we have extensive training programs mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that take people through the, the entire process that I just described.

Speaker 4 (09:20):

What, what types of physicians? Just some of the things you had spoken about, you have like, probably therapists and Day Hab people, but so you have, like put 700 people is a very, very large employment. You must be one of the largest, you one of the largest employers in Sullivan County.

Speaker 5 (09:34):

We are one of the largest in Sullivan County. Yes.

Speaker 4 (09:36):

And, and just to backtrack a minute how many, how many locations do you have?

Speaker 5 (09:40):

We have one administration building, and we have approximately 40 residential settings there. There’s 11 on our campus. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> in Loch Sheldrake, and the balance are in the community. In the form of apartments or individual houses, condominiums.

Speaker 4 (09:57):

Wow. Wow. Well, we’re gonna, before we we’re going to be talking about leisure services or agriculture, we’re gonna go to the break in this minute.

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Speaker 3 (14:17):


Speaker 4 (14:20):

Hello, and welcome back. This is Lynn Allen Cione of the Orange County Chamber here on WTBQ. And our guests today are Jim Forbes, the executive director, and Jon Jon Thomas, the Agricultural Leader of New Hope Community. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for having us. So, oh, you’re very welcome. Thank you. Sometimes I wish that we could, you know, tape the the discussions that we have during the break because we had great, tremendous stuff that you’re out there in Radioland that you’ll be hearing about this organization because some of the things that being done farming with people with disabilities, partnering with colleges, it’s really creating a whole community and opening the community up to the diversity that’s really within it. So it’s really very exciting everything that’s going on there. But before we talk about agriculture, I just want to, you know, kind of go back a little bit to talk, about some of the other things we had spoken about, the Living Arts Center and then the Leisure, the Leisure program. So if, if you could just go through a couple more of the other services.

Speaker 5 (15:18):

Sure, sure. Well, we have what we call our WOW program, which is Without walls, it’s an opportunity on a daily basis for our individuals to go out into the community. Typical activities where we go to a museum, go to a computer shack, yeah. Go to the library become engaged with senior citizens, in other words, in and of the community. We just don’t wanna see our people in a community. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, we wanna see them of the community. A very big distinction. I think

Speaker 4 (15:43):

That is a, that is a huge distinction, because if they’re of the community, they own the community, they belong there, it’s, it’s their community. Exactly. Right. So, and you, the community, just a, again, the community that you work in is Sullivan County. And what are some of the areas up there?

Speaker 5 (15:57):

Liberty, Monticello and various other towns mm-hmm. <Affirmative> within about a 30 mile area.

Speaker 4 (16:02):

Okay. Yeah. Okay. And, and just again, just to, to go back for people who are just turn tuning in now, what is your demographic, who are the people that you serve? Age groups and um…

Speaker 5 (16:14):

We serve people generally out of high school. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> these are people who have come to us through the high school age out program. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> or through the state agencies re rebuilding the state agencies mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and moving people out the state agencies into agencies such as New Hope demographics are, we have people who have been with us since the day we opened. We have people ranging in age from 21 years of age up to 95. Wow. I signed, in fact, yesterday, I signed a birthday card to one of them who is 96 years old.

Speaker 4 (16:52):

Oh, how cool is that? Yeah. How cool is that? Now, do you have to, for somebody to be part of New Hope Community, do they have to originally come from Sullivan County? Or can they come from other areas?

Speaker 5 (17:02):

They, they come from the states. It’s a state.

Speaker 4 (17:04):

So anywhere in the state

Speaker 5 (17:05):

Funded Yes. State funded program once they qualify mm-hmm. <Affirmative>.

Speaker 4 (17:08):

So if somebody’s an Orange County and they’re listening and they say, wow, you know, I have somebody in my family, you know, that I, I would like to, you know, maybe be part of this, or I would like to be part of this. That’s okay. They don’t have to be from Sullivan County.

Speaker 5 (17:22):

Right. The the, the front door to this system mm-hmm. Is the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities through the application process there, they’re prioritized. And that’s how they go out into the agencies.

Speaker 4 (17:34):

Okay. Okay. So just to, to give that as background information. So you have, what else? Other services. So you have family support services?

Speaker 5 (17:44):

We have family support services mm-hmm. <Affirmative> through our a grant that we have this assists parents in understanding their child’s intellectual or other developmental disabilities mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and helps them make the connections or navigate the system. It’s a very complex system. Anyone who has tried to place a loved one in the system mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, it is a very complex one. And we do offer those services to others through a grant that we have. We have Medicaid Service Coordination. Again this is another navigator type of position ensuring that the services for the individual are coordinated, that they have access to all that they’re entitled to. We, we, we have a a person-centered planning approach to the entire thing, engaging our individuals and their families in making them sure they understand what choices they have. 

Speaker 4 (18:38):

Sure.  Mm-Hmm.

Speaker 5 (18:38):

<Affirmative>, mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. It’s not the old practice of this is what you shall do. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, this is what you shall do. We offer an array of choices.

Speaker 4 (18:46):

Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, I can see that. You know, I just, one of, when you had spoken about family support services, one of the conversations that we’ve been, that I was having the past couple of weeks with some, a number of people was and I don’t know if this is something that you’re seeing, but aging parents who have a child with a disability, and they may be 40 or 50, maybe even 60 years old, and the parents now have to make plans for this child who, this child who’s no longer, you know, like a child in age, but it’s their child and they have to make plans for, for this person. And the person may have been home the whole time because not everybody always wanted to have the, the, their kid out of the house. Is that something that you’re seeing?

Speaker 5 (19:26):

Oh, absolutely. We have many people who have, who come to us mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and we direct through the proper channels who have actually that situation. You’ll find a couple who have realized now they’re in their sixties mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, they don’t have the physical strength. They don’t have the ability to take care of their loved one the way they, he, he or she should be. So they do come and apply to the state mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and then look at the various agencies Sure. And we’re there for them as best we can. We’re, we’re fully occupied at the moment. All, all of our beds are taken, but we are always open to building new homes. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, we have new homes in underway at the moment.

Speaker 4 (20:10):

Yeah. I mean, it just sounds like the, breadths of services that you offer, but also the way that, that you look at families and family units and people, and it doesn’t, it really sounds like a community. It, it’s integrated. It’s not just an, it’s not an agency. It’s a community. It’s definitely an That’s right. 

Speaker 5 (20:25):

It’s integrated we, we see the families as a partner. Mm-Hmm.

Speaker 4 (20:28):

<Affirmative>. Well, that’s a, that’s as well. You should, that’s exactly, you know, as well, you should exactly as well. You should

Speaker 5 (20:32):

As see him as a partner.

Speaker 4 (20:33):

So now you have all of these programs, and then you have something that’s very, very unusual. Unusual, mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for an agency that works with people with disabilities, which is intriguing, is your agriculture component. So, Jon, Jon, do you wanna talk about that? Because I, I just find that to be in I know you’re chomping at the bit over there, <laugh>. 

Speaker 13 (20:53):

I know, I’m so excited to be here.

Speaker 4 (20:54):

Because it’s really such an unusual and interesting component of a program.

Speaker 13 (21:02):

Yep, absolutely. Well, the farm has started just from last year, we went into talks with our local community college, which is Sullivan County Community College. They approached us last fall and asked us if we wanted to farm it there behind their college. And of course, we said yes. And we had talks over the winter, and in April we started putting any of the fencing in. And in May we, I went full-time to be the acting head farm in there.

Speaker 4 (21:32):

And how many acres is the farm?

Speaker 13 (21:33):

It’s a small parcel. It’s three acres. It’s gonna be, it’s actually we’ve designed it as a sustainable permaculture space. So we’re permaculture is a concept of using nature’s energy and using the surrounding sources to slow down nature and use those things before they go through the space. So I, by example, through water. So we slow the water down, we catch the water, it goes down into the into the aquifers, but also when we slow it down, it’s nutrient enriched mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and then flows down through the space, through the garden beds and feed those garden beds.

Speaker 4 (22:14):

I know, I’m, I’m about to say something because I’m from Long Island. Yeah. We don’t have a, we don’t have a lot of farms down there, <laugh>. And then I lived in Brooklyn, so how do you slow the water down to make it all this nutrient rich? Yeah, I mean, just, I mean, it sounds really fascinating. Yeah. And I can’t, but I can’t, in my head, I’m thinking, okay. Do you put it through leaves? What do you, what do you do to do that?

Speaker 13 (22:34):

Well, I, yeah, you actually have, you’re on the right track. We actually created landscaping or earthworks, which are on contour or on level. So basically little ditches. So if you’re driving down the road and you see you know, it’s raining and the water comes down the road, usually they put the ditches in, so it flows away from the road. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> and gets, and, and in that process, it also takes nutrients and fertilizers and stuff, and eventually takes it to the ocean. So what we’re doing is spinning that trench sideways and putting up level, so the water comes down the hill and into that trench or ditch, and there’s a little hill on the, on the downhill side, and that’s what slows it down.

Speaker 4 (23:18):

Oh, okay. Yeah. Okay. I got it. Yeah, I got it. So, so earlier you had said that also the farmer is organic. Yes. Okay. And how, how, how hard is that? I mean, that must, that’s, that must, that’s a difficult thing to be organic. Now, you, you, since you only started in, in May. Yeah. You’re not NOFA certified or anything yet.

Speaker 13 (23:37):

We are not NOFO certified. I actually started in the greenhouse through the Leisure Program that you mentioned before mm-hmm. <Affirmative> 11 years ago. And we’ve been growing naturally, we can’t say organic cause we are not certified. Sure. But at the, at the farm, we have, we don’t use any chemicals. We don’t use any synthetic fertilizers, so we’re just using compost ground covers, mulch to build the soil. It’ll take probably three to five years to really kind of build that soil to be at full production.

Speaker 4 (24:10):

Okay. So now how do you have the farm mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And then how do you work with your consumers? Because that’s the most important part of this whole, this whole equation.

Speaker 13 (24:20):

Actually, it’s really interesting to use language. What, what the, the people that I work with, we, we call them people or individuals. So it’s really important that I act as a teacher and a mentor that I work side by side. I think when you’re working with someone it’s most important that you’re actually doing the actions that need to be done, just like mm-hmm. <Affirmative> with a person that you’re working with. So through example and through patience and understanding so how we we’re including our community, there is all the stuff that we talked about in developing the farm since May, it’s been myself, but no subcontractors. It’s been through volunteers, through people that live at New Hope the staff from New Hope, the staff from the college and also people like you and me, just from the community that are interested in volunteering at the farm, and also creating a space that’s amazing. Really.

Speaker 4 (25:20):

Well, it sounds, it sounds really amazing. And one of before we came on air, we were talking about how this, and, and probably so many of the other services provide the soft skills. It’s not just the agricultural learning, it’s not just learning how to slow down water and everything. Yeah, yeah. But it’s the, the soft skills and learning how to, to work with people mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and learning how learning a skill and how, how, how the agriculture program is, is that open to anybody at New Hope, or is there a selection process? Does somebody just say, hey, this is what I wanna do when they come work with you?

Speaker 13 (25:49):

It’s absolutely like you were, we were talking before about people’s choices. Some people want to garden. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, some people do want to farm. Some people have dreams of being you know race car drivers or <laugh>, you know, it could be anything, but some people really connect with the earth. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, I think it’s great for people that want to have a connection with nature and also where their food comes from. And you know, also you know what, what people kind of will see as we go along is the added value of the food that’s coming out of New Hope and the produce that’s coming out of New Hope.

Speaker 4 (26:30):

We’re gonna talk about that when we come back from this break

Speaker 14 (26:55):

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Speaker 21 (29:53):

Hey, it’s your turn to speak up. I’m Zach Crook, the host of Speak Up, where you voice your opinion on issues affecting us in our nation and in our community. Speak up and call in every Wednesday at 10:00 AM on WTBQ radio worth listening to

Speaker 20 (30:09):

Stuffed cabbage from the kitchen table in New York City. I’m Rachel Ray, and this is Rachel on the Radio. This five ingredient meal is simple and simply delicious. You begin with the cabbage itself. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, fine chop the core itself, the core leaves, I should say, and throw them into a mixing bowl. Add some garlic, some nice fresh sage fennel seed. Add your sliced onion down into the mix. Toss this with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then I line a baking dish with a little softened butter. Then you let your leaves just fall over the side here, a layer of your chopped cabbage. Top that with the raw sausage removed from the casing, and then separate the layers with more cabbage leaves. Throw it into a nice hot oven. For this recipe and more food tips, go to rachelrayshow.com. Monday cashew chicken from the kitchen table in NYC. I’m Rachel Ray,

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Speaker 20 (32:07):

WTBQ weather…

Speaker 25 (32:09):

I have plenty of clouds this afternoon. Showers around with highs in the low seventies tonight, more showers, even a period of rain. It will be breezy late lows around 50 now four Saturday, mostly cloudy, windy, and cooler. Only 50 to 55 for a high wind. Gusts could reach 40 miles an hour, and we’ll have scattered showers through the day, but it’s dry for Sunday, partly sunny, still windy in the upper fifties from a WTBQ Weather Center. I’m meteorologist Mike Mahalick.

Speaker 4 (32:42):

Hello and welcome back. This is Lynn Allen Cione of the Orange County Chamber, and excuse me. And today our guests are Jim Forbes and Jon Jon Thomas of New Hope Community. And we’re learning all about really an amazing program that you, you folks run up in Sullivan County for people with disabilities. Yeah. And this is really astounding. I wanna just get back to the agriculture component because there’s, there seems to be two goals that are here. One is the actual, you know, the tangible goal of growing stuff, of course. And what is what. So let’s talk about that goal. I mean, where you’re planning with that. What is, what is your goal for, for this farm?

Speaker 13 (33:17):

I think between three and five years, our, our main goal is to be able to supply fresh produce to those 40 homes that are on campus. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> and off of campus.

Speaker 4 (33:27):

So it’ll be sustainable. Yes. So you’re gonna have a sustainable Absolutely. And I see in my notes that it’s to that you’re gonna create a CSA out of that. Yes. That’s, that’s fabulous.

Speaker 13 (33:35):

So within that, if, if we do have the abundance to, to go to the community mm-hmm. <Affirmative> with a CSA, so it would start with the employees of new home mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and then also the employees of the college and the professors and the students, and

Speaker 5 (33:51):

The, the greater

Speaker 13 (33:52):

Community, the greater community as well. Mm-Hmm.

Speaker 4 (33:53):

<Affirmative>. And that’s, that’s amazing because you have, you know, you’re creating a sustainable environment for food and then, you know, and now trans, so that’s your tangible of what you wanna do with the, with the crops. But one of the things that you had said earlier, as far as with the people that you’re working with Is this connection to the soil and knowing where their food comes from. Absolutely. Now, how important is that? I mean, that’s important for everybody to know mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. But is there a, a heightened need for the people that you work with to know that, to be a little bit more, to be more connected?

Speaker 13 (34:23):

I think, I think so. Therapeutic value. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> from being outside from feeling the sun on your skin from the wind in your hair is just so beneficial for anybody. Especially someone that is maybe has chemical what do you call it sensitivity. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So pure food that have low, low chemical count that has not been used where we grow the food without using any kind of chemicals or synthetic fertilizers.

Speaker 4 (34:56):

So, but the, and they’ve got ownership over that now, so they’re seeing the cycle that they grow it, they eat it, it’s good for them. Yep. And I would think that it would probably also help them help, because it helps anybody. You know, you learn to eat healthy, you know, this is, this is my food, this is what I do. And to take care of something to now you have ownership. You’re, you’re nurturing something. Yes. Which is always very important.

Speaker 5 (35:17):

And, and it takes us into the homes as well as, as Jon was saying we have a full-time certified nutritionist on staff, and we’re building a culture of farm to table. Oh, wow. So that when the food arrives at, at the home mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, there’s, there’s been instructions on how to prepare it. Jon sends menus with it. We, in, in our homes, our individuals principally do the cooking where they can

Speaker 4 (35:43):


Speaker 13 (35:44):


Speaker 5 (35:45):

Our nutritionist helps pick the menus, decide, helps decide the menus with them. It’s their choices. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> their choices, but we offer healthy choices. And this farm to table is part of that.

Speaker 13 (35:57):


Speaker 4 (35:58):

That is so cool.

Speaker 13 (35:59):

<Laugh>, isn’t it cool? That is really cool. And, and also a lot of people don’t know how to prepare, like Swiss chard or collar greens or, you know, certain kinds of squashes to make it, you know, something delicious and something that looks great and tastes great.

Speaker 4 (36:11):

So, so you gonna tell us

Speaker 13 (36:13):

No? Well, yeah, of course. Well, swiss chard

Speaker 4 (36:15):

like now <laugh>, right?

Speaker 13 (36:17):

Swiss Swiss Char, a little olive oil, a little bit of garlic and a little salt and pepper and just saute

Speaker 4 (36:24):

It. Saute it. Yeah. Don’t steam it.

Speaker 13 (36:26):

You can steam it also. I like it. Saute.

Speaker 4 (36:28):

Cut. Cut out the

Speaker 13 (36:29):

Stalks. Yes. Always. And then, and then just slice it, you know, slice it sideways.

Speaker 4 (36:33):

Uhhuh, there’s a little, little a little recipe tip there. Yep. Courtesy of New Hope. 

Speaker 13 (36:38):

Really quick.

Speaker 4 (36:38):

<Laugh>. So, so what, what else do you do with the, with the, with the agriculture? How is that, is that something that because I mean, that, that sounds like something that’s very unusual mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for for you know, organizations that are working with people with disabilities that are providing any kind of res hab or anything like that, to have an agricultural component to that and integrate it so closely into the into the, the programming of, of, of the agency. Is that something that you find to be unusual? Is what you’re doing very different

Speaker 5 (37:10):

Amongst the, amongst the agencies that we work with, Yes. Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, it is new. There is amongst all of the agencies, we’re looking, always looking for new and creative ways to bring out that GPS, right. In our individuals mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so this is one we found it was a natural collaboration. We had a conversation with the college, and they were interested in doing something. We were certainly interested in doing something. So the commonality was the land. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and proximity to each other.

Speaker 4 (37:41):

So now, what, what does the college do with this? What is, what is their, what is their responsibilities other than the land with this

Speaker 13 (37:47):

Well, they actually support us with everyday operations. There is a you know, water that was piped to the farm as well. Oh, okay. All right. We worked with them hand in hand putting in a a high tunnel, which is very similar to a greenhouse. So we got a grant through the U S D A to put in a 40 by 60 greenhouse. So that was completed this summer also. And that was mostly through the college and through cooperation with New Hope.

Speaker 5 (38:14):

And it interfaces with their culinary arts program. Yep. Part of the products that come off of the farm, go into the culinary arts product project, and the students learning, cooking and chefing and whatever else is in the program. And of course, that engages the professors and engages their students to engage with our folks. It’s a win-win all around.

Speaker 4 (38:35):

Yeah, absolutely. It is. It definitely sounds like a, you know, until you have this great resource of a community college mm-hmm. <Affirmative> right there with you, and now their students are benefiting the people you work with are benefiting, your employees are benefiting, and then ultimately the entire community is benefiting.

Speaker 5 (38:50):

Absolutely. The community will become even a greater part of our, our Farm project.

Speaker 4 (38:54):

I think that’s, that’s a wonderful, a wonderful thing. So now we, we spoke about the Farm to Table cooperative. And do, do you plan on expanding this? I mean, what are your plans? You know, I know you said that to said, you know, to have more product. But as far as expanding the three acres, do you have other plans for that?

Speaker 13 (39:11):

There are possibilities of us expanding. There’s two plots that are kind of right next to the existing farm. But for, I think between the first three and five years, those three acres will be you know, enough for us to enough space mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and enough to work on to create enough food for our 40 homes. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (39:33):

Okay. And I know during the during the break, we spoke about this, but we didn’t speak about this on air. What about animals?

Speaker 13 (39:39):

Yes. Well, we’ve started we do have animals on campus. We have a therapeutic horse riding facility. And also we just introduced a small flock of chickens to the farm. So someone actually has a job in the mornings and evenings to take care of those chickens. So they let them out in the morning water feed. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> clean the cage and also do the same thing at night. So you have to have the doors closed. Or of course, some, you know, something might happen in the chickens. Right. So that’s someone’s job, which I think shows a lot as well. 

Speaker 4 (40:15):

Oh, it does. It’s a lot of responsibility to be able to do that because, you know, chickens, chickens are vulnerable. Yeah. So to have somebody, you know, want to do that, and to have somebody in their internal GPS mm-hmm. <Affirmative> to say, I wanna be responsible for the chickens, that that takes a lot of responsibility and leadership skill to want to take, take, take that on.

Speaker 13 (40:31):

And we’re also talking about the connection with nature. I mean it goes as far as, you know, the soil and, and you know the environment, but also with living things and living creatures mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And the benefits are so you know, amazing for people with disabilities, or people in general mm-hmm. <Affirmative> to be around farm animals mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and be around crops that they would, or a seed, you know,

Speaker 4 (40:58):

It’s normal. Yeah, yeah. You know, that’s, it’s such a normalizing experience. Yeah. And it’s so it’s so foundational. I mean, it’s just so, I, I don’t wanna say primal in the negative sense. It’s primal to us as human beings to be in touch with, with our with our soil and the earth. You know, it’s, it’s the same that, you know, many times people go to the ocean and there’s this, this like, call in their soul to that. And it’s the same thing with, with farming mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and being close to the soil. And we’re gonna come back with our last break. We’ll be right back.

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Speaker 6 (42:17):

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Speaker 29 (44:15):

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Speaker 4 (44:36):

Hello, and welcome back. On our last segment, this is Lynn Allen Cionr of the Orange County Chamber Commerce. And today our guests are Jim Forbes and Jon Jon Thomas of New Hope, New Hope Community. And we’ve been discussing some very interesting programs that you both, that are offered by New Hope to help the people that you work with get their, their internal GPS tuned up and working and how you do that. And I, I love that terminology. I really do. But in, in addition to so you have 700, you have 700 employees, and how many people do you work with?

Speaker 5 (45:10):

About 250.

Speaker 4 (45:11):

Okay. So that’s a pretty, that’s a very good staff staff ratio you have.

Speaker 5 (45:15):

Yes, it is

Speaker 4 (45:15):

So what other programs, you know, you mentioned some of them, but I know during the break we said that there were a number of others that we wanted to make sure that people understood. 

Speaker 5 (45:23):

We certainly, thanks Lynn. We have a supported employment program wherein it assist people in helping, in helping our individuals gain acceptance into the greater community, while encouraging them to be productive members in the workforce. And they have an ability to earn money as well. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So there’s a little bit of financial health, a little bit of financial independency. And that’s of value to of course, everybody we have 61 individuals presently in that program. Wow. So pretty excited about that. 

Speaker 4 (45:54):

Yes, That’s..

Speaker 5 (45:54):

Really should be. And then we have what we call enclaves or are a small group of our individuals, about three to five of them who work in a community-based local industry with training, supervision, quality assurance, and ongoing supports to help them. It is a new experience, and this is something that again, is additive to their life in so many ways. We have individuals working at the Elks Lodge, working with a, a job coach, performing various activities there. We have mobile work crews landscaping and things of that nature, jobs of that nature. And again, we have people working at our, our local Temple Temple Shalom, and the Rock Hill Ambulance Corps.

Speaker 4 (46:38):


Speaker 5 (46:39):

Grass, grass cutting cleanup and all of this with job coaches. These are, and the job coaches are important. They not only help they don’t direct activities. Right. Again, as Jon Jon with the farm, it’s, it’s instructive. It’s helping them. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, find and develop and use their skill sets. We have our residential services these are the, our people live in homes as we described before, and they’re homes, they’re families they have individual bedrooms, they have kitchens, community areas. They have their private space, they have their public space, and they also have the opportunity not only just to fraternize and socialize with, with each other, but have their private time to connect with family and friends and their computers and whatever they enjoy. And our staffs are there fully accessible to our medical and clinical staffs and other support staffs. They’re just, just wonderful people. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, they’re there to meet the needs in a, in a very person-centered way. So we’re very excited about our homes, and we’re, we’re looking forward to building more of them. 

Speaker 4 (47:52):

So when you said the term homes, you didn’t say houses?

Speaker 5 (47:54):

No, they’re homes. They’re homes. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, the way we look at it at New Hope is the, the 700 of us who work there. We are guests on their property when we work in or go into their home. It’s their home. It is not ours. It’s theirs. And we’re there to offer support. And we think that’s a very important distinction.

Speaker 4 (48:18):

It, it’s a, it’s, it’s, I think it’s more than an important distinction. It’s, again, it’s the flipping of what we consider to be reality and a normative type of transactional relationship. Many times that we have with, you know, with, there’s a service being provided. There’s, there’s the provide door, and then there’s the receiver. And to be able to say, no, no, no, no, no. It’s my responsibility to understand you and, and I am the guest in your home. That’s, that’s really a bit of a paradigm shift and a, a bit of a sea change as far as understanding how we work together as a community, regardless of who we are. It’s really very very transformational to be able to look at it that way. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> and understand where your place is and the economy of that community. So I, I think that you, the people that you work with are really blessed to have people who understand that and, and are giving that level of respect and, and concern to them and understand that, that, you know, we’re all in an equal playing field. And that’s, that’s really, really huge. So I applaud you for that, you know, because that’s that’s very refreshing. 

Speaker 5 (49:29):

Many of our many of our wonderfully dedicated staff embrace a number of our individuals in their own family life, in their homes. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> this time of the year, we’ll find many of our individuals going to staff homes for Thanksgiving or for Christmas, or the holidays, Jewish holidays, whatever the case may be. So it’s a total embracing of the human being.

Speaker 4 (49:54):

Okay. So say, say, I mean, that’s, I’m, you’ve rendered me speechless. I don’t really, as Rich knows, very rarely am I without words. And he’s saying that’s true. Because it’s really such a, it’s such a it’s such a difference of from so much that we see and so much that we know to be able to work with people, just terrible people that way. But say somebody wants to volunteer, somebody says, oh, you know, this is great. I, this sounds, this is resonating with me. I really wanna be able to give back. I wanna help, I wanna help you do this. Is there, is there opportunities?

Speaker 5 (50:29):

Sure. They can, they can volunteer by applying online through our website. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, and by the way, we will be having a new website coming out in the next couple of months. I think people will really love it. It’s been a lot of great work, a lot of labor of love going into it, telling the story. Certainly they can call the mm-hmm. <Affirmative> our human resources department. And that number is 8 4 5 4 3 4 8 3 0 0. And just start the process there with a phone call

Speaker 4 (51:01):

Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And then say, somebody says, Hey, you know, I’d love to help, but I don’t have enough time. I can’t get up there. Are there other ways for them to help?

Speaker 5 (51:09):

We’ll, we’ll certainly find ways. We…

Speaker 4 (51:13):

Do you have a foundation?

Speaker 5 (51:14):

We have a foundation, we do have a foundation. And, and by the way, we have many volunteers, including our board of directors. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, we have committees that people can get involved. If someone cannot make it every day, they don’t have to. You can be on a, a certain committees that may be available at the time. We are try to be very accommodating because we know it’s a gift from the community to volunteer. On the donation side, we do have a foundation, and, and it it’s a wonderful resource for us. It’s made up of a volunteer board and volunteers and the foundation through their fundraising activities helps provide some of the things that we cannot get reimbursed by the state. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> for some cases, the farm, I mean, the farm is a perfect way to to express your interest in what we’re doing.

Speaker 5 (52:04):

The, the we recently had a case which is something that the insurance companies in the state would not reimburse for. A, a woman who is one of our individuals, was in a nursing home facility and couldn’t come back to her home at New Hope unless she had a ramp. The Foundation helps support building this ramp for her. So it does many, many generous activities, and we need funding for that. And we would welcome donations towards the farm. Jon was talking about a tractor. We have a, a shelter for our equipment that we need to build the places to wash the vegetables and the fruits. And all of that can go through our foundation and can be reached the same way. I’ll put a little plug in here for Donna Fischer. She would be very willing to speak to you about our our, what we’re doing. Again, she can be reached on our telephone at eight four five four three four eight three hundred. And our address is 5 New Hope Community Drive in Loch Sheldrake, New York PO Box 289. So we would appreciate if anybody would be interested in helping us support any of our activities.

Speaker 4 (53:21):

Well, we’re about to run out of time. See, I told you it went fast. Right. Wow. So they did. And so I wanna thank you for for being here. I just have one thing I wanted to say quickly about the about the Chamber because we have on Tuesday, the 25th at the Chamber from 8 to 10, we have a seminar on retirement planning options from myself and my employees. It’s presented by the professionals from Walden Savings Bank, and it is very important if you have a business and you need to know how to, how to help your employees structure, their retirement, please come. It’s we’ll be providing breakfast free of charge, and that’s Tuesday, October 25th from 8t to 10 at the chamber. The seminar on retirement planning options from myself and my employees. There’s a lot going on at the chamber. 4 5 7 9 7 0 0. The music is starting, which means that my time today is done and I’ll see you next Friday here on WTBQ. 

Speaker 3 (54:14):

Thank you Lynn