November 16, 2020
Organization will use funds to provide in-person and virtual programming
Sunflower Hill announced today that it has been awarded an Enhancing Vision 2026 Fund allocation from Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley. The funds, totaling $60,000, will be used for individual and small-group virtual programming for residents of Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch in Pleasanton and program participants living in the Tri-Valley. Additionally, the organization hopes to increase its offerings with in-person programming, in small cohort groups, at Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch as COVID-related restrictions lift.
Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch is a 31-unit affordable apartment complex providing independent living apartment homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The community, which was developed in partnership with Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA), was completed in September 2020. Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch is the first independent, affordable residential community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Tri-Valley, California.
“This generous Fund allocation ensures that we are able to continue to deliver virtual programming to our program participants and our new residents that is person-centered, engaging, life enriching, and meets the needs of our dynamic community,” said Edie Nehls, Executive Director at Sunflower Hill. “We are extremely grateful to Supervisor Miley for allocating funds from his budget to support Sunflower Hill, and to the entire Alameda County Board of Supervisors for approving this allocation.”
“Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch is a model for providing quality community care,” said Supervisor Miley. “Their (Sunflower Hill’s) successful partnership with SAHA has created an enriching space for safe independence. I am very honored to be in a position to help ensure the continuation of their excellent programs, especially the essential virtual services during COVID. I personally understand the importance of Sunflower Hill and places like it because I have a nephew living with autism back East, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations on creating an exceptional community overall.”
Under the direction of its Residential Programs Manager, Pratimajit Kaur, and along with Resident Services Coordinator, Lizeth Duarte, Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch residents will be offered person-centered, in-person (when COVID restrictions permit) and virtual programs that teach new skills, build independent living skills, foster communication and engagement with others in the greater community, and promote friendships. “I’m so excited to be able to engage with small groups of residents to strengthen their independence skills and help them connect with others here at Irby Ranch and in the Pleasanton community,” said Kaur.
Programs are designed to meet the needs of each resident and include small-group, virtual and in-person cooking lessons, independent living and life skills classes, such as accessing public transportation, grocery shopping, meal planning, and personal budgeting. Programs also include job readiness training, social interaction skills, vocational support, and more. Each program and activity are designed for adults with developmental disabilities and encourages participants to learn, explore, and engage with others in their community.
Additionally, these funds will enable Sunflower Hill Programs Manager, Rebecca Langstaff, to continue developing curriculum for the organization’s Garden Programs, free Online Activities, and its newest free virtual program called Popcorn Chats. This life skills program, which is guided by the interests of its participants, meets for an hour once a week.