Community Life & Employment

"Through thoughtful planning by (Riverbrook)... individuals developed unique, personally satisfying and sustained connections within the community." MA Dept. of Developmetal Services

Riverbrook Residence for Women with Developmental Disabilities

Jessie Sternick assembles greeting cards for the Marian Helpers gift shop, Stockbridge, MA

Riverbrook women enjoy full participation in the local community, a fact which helped give Riverbrook a "Certification with Distinction" in its State of Massachusetts accreditation review. Indeed, the Riverbrook women are well- known throughout the Berkshire community and beyond as a result of their participation in a wide variety of cultural, arts, music and employment activities.

Riverbrook residents are involved in the community through a variety of volunteer and paid positions. These positions are made available through organizations and businesses including the historic Red Lion Inn, the Marian Fathers, the Kripalu Yoga Center, Lee Special Education Program, Kimball Farms and Laurel Lake Assisted Living Centers, local houses of worship and other organizations. Many attend local houses of worship of their choice to develop their religious life. Several of the women have performed on piano with our Music Director, Jessica Roemischer, for services at local churches—a highlight for the congregation.

Brian Butterworth of the Red Lion Inn Speaks about the Riverbrook Women Who Work at This Historic Inn

Report from Massachusetts Dept. of Developmental Services/Quality Management (below)

“A primary strength for (Riverbrook) was in the area of community and social connections. Individuals were integrated and connected in their communities and maintained relationships. Through thoughtful planning by the agency, based on mission and embedded throughout service delivery, individuals developed unique, personally satisfying and sustained connections within the Stockbridge/Great Barrington community. Individuals were involved with satisfying paid and volunteer opportunities, which ranged from playing piano for the Governor to helping children at a day care center. Individuals were actively connected with their religious communities, in the arts and with local groups of common interest. Individuals were fully supported to maintain contact with family and friends who were important to them. Through email, phone calls, mail correspondence and visits, individuals had consistent contact with people. Family and friends were invited to social events such as parties and picnics. These dedicated planning efforts provided individuals with multiple options to become actively engaged in their community on multiple levels. Individuals expressed contentment and pride in the fact that they had active and busy lives.”
The Department of Massachusetts Office of Quality Management

"A Day in My Life"
by Kate Ryan
When I get up in the morning, I make my bed, wash up and do some of my chores around the apartment I live in on Riverbrook's grounds. There are four of us who live in the apartment, which is called "The Cottage," and we all share the work to keep it clean. After I eat breakfast, I leave for work at the Red Lion Inn, where I work in the laundry. I look forward to going to work and seeing all my friends there. I have been there for twenty years and it make me feel good about what I do there. My boss is Chris. She is a very nice person. My brother Brendan is really proud of me, that I am doing so well. When I get back from work, sometimes I go to the library or bowling with some of my friends at Riverbrook and one of the staff and then we come back and have dinner.

For many years, Riverbrook women have worked at the historic Red Lion Inn, one of the oldest continuously running hotels in the United States and a landmark in Stockbridge, MA.