Creating Community at Lyons Manor

Official Project

The Problem

Lyons Manor is a board and care facility that provides three meals a day, a bed, and medical coverage to people with disabilities who do not need nursing care, but would otherwise be homeless. It is a home for approximately 30 people with a variety of psychological and physical disabilities. Additionally, most residents are living in Lyons Manor because they lack outside support from family and friends. These demographic factors combined with limited transportation and means of communication with the surrounding community generates a sense of isolation and abandonment among residents.

Plan of Action

The trips to Lyons Manor are beneficial on multiple levels. By socializing with the students the residents learn important social skills for interacting with their community, and gain a sense of self-worth. Simultaneously, the resident’s interaction with the students is equally as important. For the student’s visits to Lyons Manor serves as disability awareness, a reminder of how imperative healthy decision making is in life, and provides an opportunity to learn about social cues that our body language and speech display. While these results may not be measurable in a quantitative manor, the qualitative data is innumerable. After listening to the students and residents commentary regarding the trips to Lyons Manor, it is evident that the aforementioned qualities are being obtained from the experience. Each time we visit the residents thank us abundantly. There are residents that display large smiles, that previously only cracked a smile on a rare occasion. The lessons in socialization are also evident as each new visit more residents emerge from their rooms to hold conversations and participate in activities. Similarly, the reflections from the students illustrates the improved perceptions they have about people with disabilities, and other important lesson’s that are learned through the weekly activities. From a planning perspective these weekly events allow students and residents to utilize imagination and coordination skills to develop and implement the ideas for each week.

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