By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on April 24th, 2016
When the decision was first made to build Green House homes, Barry Berman, CEO, Chelsea Jewish Foundation, said we knew the model was “extremely special, extremely unique and wondered what other vulnerable populations in addition to elders we could serve. We challenged ourselves knowing that these individuals would probably be on Medicaid.” As a mission driven organization they opened their 10 Green House homes with one dedicated to individuals living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS, and one to individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis or MS. An amazing achievement.
Today, they are excited to open another home for ALS individuals, the Dapper McDonald ALS Residence, thanks to a generous donation from the Dapper McDonald family as well as a group of individuals from New York who assisted in the process.
As Barry explained individuals with ALS are “transformed overnight” in the ALS Green House homes. They gain “such profound independence”. Below is the announcement of the new home.
We applaud all those who helped make the Dapper McDonald ALS Residence a reality!
The Dapper McDonald ALS Residence at the Leonard Florence Center for Living is now open! Due to an extremely generous donation of $3.5 million – and a commitment to raise $9 million in additional funds – the Chelsea Jewish Foundation was able to open a second home for individuals with ALS. The Center’s first home, the Steve Saling ALS Residence, opened in 2010 and has received world-wide acclaim; the Slifka MS Residence is devoted to residents living with MS.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer another residence to individuals with ALS,” states Chelsea Jewish Foundation CEO Barry Berman. “There is such an incredible need for these homes, but the operating costs are extremely high. Thankfully, this donation has helped turn our dream of a second ALS home into reality.”
Richard “Dapper” McDonald was a New York businessman who was diagnosed with ALS in 2008. The news came as a shock to the entire family as it was something completely unfamiliar to them. Over the next seven months, the family took their lead from Dapper. He never slowed down or quit. He went to work every day and continued running his business despite the constant struggle. On July 15, 2009, nine months after his diagnosis, Dapper passed from ALS.
After touring the Center in an effort to replicate the home in New York, the family soon realized it was too difficult to develop the staff and technology that was already in place in Boston. As a result, a group of New York residents have donated a $3.5 million leadership gift and have committed to raising $12.5 million in total.
Welcome to all of our new Dapper McDonald residents! We are thrilled to have you join the Chelsea Jewish family.
For the last six years, Patrick O’Brien, has lived in the ALS residence. Barry Berman describes him “as the most amazing individual I have ever met”. Read below the story about Patrick’s movie and where to watch it. The documentary is an amazing story and as Barry explained, Patrick “will always credit The Green House Project for giving him back his life”.
Leonard Florence Center Resident Living with ALS Directed and Produced an Award Winning Documentary!
The amazing documentary film, Transfatty Lives, directed and produced by Leonard Florence Center resident Patrick O’Brien, had its Boston premiere at the Revere Showcase Cinema in Revere on Sunday, April 3. The film won the 2015 Audience Award at the Tribeca and Milano Film Festivals, and is a featured selection in film festivals all across the world.
Transfatty Lives takes one on an emotional rollercoaster from Patrick’s wild, fun-loving days as a DJ and filmmaker into the heart of living with ALS. With the support of his friends and family, Patrick braves the unthinkable and turns his camera onto himself. He is able to capture all of the emotion, humor, and absurdity of real life – falling in love and fathering a child along the way.