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Allies, Inc. Receives a Visit from Mayor Jeff Martin

Hamilton, New Jersey, January 29, 2020 – The year started off brightly at Allies, Inc., thanks to a visit from new Mayor, Jeff Martin, in January. The Mayor received a guided tour of the Allies headquarters in Hamilton, where he met staff and learned more about the programs and services that Allies offers in 18 counties throughout New Jersey.

Photo credit: Escarpeta PhotoGraphics

A highlight of the visit was a “Question & Answer” session between the Mayor and four of the individuals that Allies serves. The individuals currently reside in apartments in Project Freedom in Hamilton and Robbinsville; and were very excited to meet the Mayor. They were also very eager to have the opportunity to talk about their own lives and what matters to them.

Edward Iannone, who lives in Project Freedom in Hamilton, kicked off the conversation by telling the Mayor that he knows he’s new, so he is going to go easy on him.

Carol Duncan, who lives in Project Freedom in Robbinsville, enthusiastically expressed her appreciation for the “good, great and wonderful people at Allies.” She also shared that she has enjoyed her job as a dishwasher for 22 years and loves the Eagles.

Dennis Bernhardt, who spoke through an assistive device, introduced himself to the Mayor and shared that he has lived at Project Freedom in Hamilton since March 28, 2003, and was happy to meet him. The smile on his face certainly showed it.

Daniel DiMarco, who lives in Project Freedom in Hamilton and has been served by Allies since November 2001, remarked, “I’ve lived in three nursing homes. And this beats living in a nursing home. This feels like a real home. It gives you independence. Every day I’m learning to be more independent.” Daniel also added that he used to have his own business at the mall where he delivered food and soda to people who worked there. He needed to reconfigure his wheelchair to do it, but he really enjoyed helping people.

Daniel, the most outspoken in the group, also voiced that he appreciates going out to different activities, participating in the Allies Day Programs, and attending baseball games. He also ensured the Mayor knew he was a die-hard Mets fan.

During the Q&A, Mayor Martin announced the launch of a new Health and Special Needs Committee that will help to assess the needs of people in the Hamilton community. He asked the group what he could do to help them.

Daniel passionately stated that many medical offices in the Hamilton area are not wheelchair accessible. In addition, he said it is hard to get on the exam tables. Daniel is working on a petition to help fix that. The Mayor listened intently.

Nicole Zamerovsky, Director of Communications at Allies, remarked, “We were delighted to welcome Mayor Martin to our headquarters, and appreciated him taking the time to meet staff and speak directly with some of the people we serve. He really took the time to get to know them and what is important to them.”

As the conversation ended, it seemed clear that people with disabilities want the same things as people who do not have disabilities. They want to live as independently as possible. They want to have meaningful work. They want to enjoy recreational activities and new experiences. They want the opportunity to help others and give back because it makes them feel good. And they want the freedom and accessibility to be able to visit medical offices and other places without issues.

Nicole concluded, “Through effective advocacy, innovative programming, and customized support services, Allies helps over 410 individuals with special needs to live and work as independently as possible. Someone’s abilities may be different from our own, but we all deserve support in achieving the things that matter most to us in life.”

Allies, Inc. is a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing housing, healthcare, meaningful employment and recreational activities to people with special needs in the communities of their choice. To learn more, visit www.alliesnj.org

“A world where limitation does not distinguish nor define.”

To learn more about Project Freedom, please visit https://www.projectfreedom.org/.

Contact: Nicole Zamerovsky, Director of Communications, Allies, Inc.
Cell: 609-508-6181
Email: nzamerovsky@alliesnj.org

 

 

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