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Franziska Racker Centers opens new Free-standing Respite House


“Starry Night” respite house is a five bedroom, free-standing home that was built to serve the need for short-stay respite for those with developmental disabilities. The house will serve individuals in Cortland and surrounding Central New York locations.

“Starry Night” is a 24-hour supervised program staffed with trained counselors and nursing personnel who will provide support services and supervision for the guests. Family members/caregivers can use this time for their own respite; giving them the opportunity to take care of personal business or to enjoy some away time of their own.  “Starry Night” will open its doors on December 9th for weekend stays through the remainder of 2011 accommodating both children and adults. The hope is to be open year-round in 2012 to accommodate individuals for short weekend stays as well as longer stays of up to 30 days.

The respite house has been a long-anticipated service by many including the Cortland County Subcommittee of the Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office (DDSO). “The Cortland Subcommittee advocated for this for the community for many years, and now it’s wonderful to see it come to fruition,” states Sandy Ehrlich, member of the Cortland County Subcommittee and Director of Medicaid Service Coordination at Franziska Racker Centers. “With so many families in need of respite services and so few respite homes in the CNY area, Franziska Racker Centers is thrilled to be opening Starry Night. We have begun to schedule guests for weekends throughout the remainder of the year as well as some days during the winter school break. We are very excited to be providing this service, “states Pat Montanez, Director of Residential Services at Racker Centers.

The house has received the “silver” level rating through the Home Energy Rating Service (HERS) securing a grant from NYSERDA which will allow Racker Centers to subsidize improvements necessary to achieve Energy Star Certification.  Currently the house is being outfitted with needed household items such as living room and bedroom sets with a $5,000 grant received from M&T. An open house is scheduled for the community on December 8, 2011 from 2-6p.m. Official remarks will be at 5:00p.m. The house is located at 1163 Starr Road, Cortland, NY. For questions or information contact, no RSVP necessary for Open House.


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