shared courtesy of Niagara Gazette
NIAGARA FALLS, New York — Marc O’Mara certainly realizes that sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference.
O’Mara works the night shift as a direct support professional for a residential complex for individuals with developmental disabilities in Hamburg operated by Heritage Christian Services, which is headquartered in North Tonawanda. When he realized that his location differed from the organization’s other facilities in its lack of a common area, he decided to do something about it.
“We had some extra office space for our particular site,” said O’Mara, who also works in construction. “So I transformed it into more of a common area where resident can hang out, share meals (and) watch movies.”
With a little drywall and electrical work, O’Mara spent his night for several weeks carving out a smaller office space for the complex staff and turned what was left into a recreation room. He said he included the residents in the process to see what amenities they’d like. The room has a flatscreen television and a small kitchenette to allow residents to cook meals to share with their neighbors.
“They enjoy it immensely,” he said. “They eat meals in there at least five days a week, they watch movies and they play board games.”