Students as volunteers!

Our model is centered around having 8-10 live-in volunteers aged 18 or older, a perfect opportunity for students studying remotely!

THE LUKAS COMMUNITY
A residential community for adults with developmental challenges

  1. The Lukas Community: Who We Are

The Lukas Community is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charity and a year-round residential community for adults with developmental challenges. It is located on 65 acres in rural Temple, NH and serves those in the greater Monadnock Region. It was founded in 1981 by a group of individuals who saw the desperate need for a place where adults with developmental challenges could live full and productive lives. Lukas Community has grown over the years from a single extended-family household with a handful of residents when it opened its doors in 1981 to become a vibrant community of four households, 16 residents, 6 house parents, 2 full time employees, 14 part-time employees.  Lukas is both licensed as an assistive living facility and certified by the Bureau of Developmental services in NH.

In the spirit of building a community that fosters personal growth and development of its members, the Lukas Community continues to grow and change, adapting itself to meet the ever-evolving needs of its residents. At the Lukas Community, both “abled” and “disabled” persons live together as an extended family, sharing their lives and work. House parents are co-workers who have taken on the responsibility for the management of a household of individuals with disabilities and support other co-workers and volunteers while creating a supportive and nurturing home environment. The house parents provide training and guidance in direct care to part-time employees and volunteers, household duties and supervise a variety of programs. Our facility is therapeutic in our approach to supporting adults with developmental disabilities.

2. Our Mission and How We Fulfill it

The mission of the Lukas Community is to ensure that individuals, who are developmentally challenged, experience a high quality of life. Each resident is recognized as a unique human being with dignity, freedom and purpose, without distinction as to race, religion, color, sex, national origin or disability. The Lukas Community fulfills its mission by:

1. Developing an Individual Service Agreements (ISA)1 for each resident. This agreement ensures that each resident develops the life skills he/she needs to maintain healthy productive relationships with family, coworkers, neighbors, employers and other community members;

2. Helping residents with mobility issues so they can be independent to the best of their abilities;

3. Providing vocational services, as specified in an Individual Service Agreement (ISA), which may include but are not limited to job readiness training, language and social skills acquisition and improvement;

4. Finding volunteer opportunities for residents with local nonprofit businesses and agencies;

5. Providing access to therapeutic services, day activities, recreational opportunities, transportation, and services for personal needs;

6. Encouraging growth and development in the arts, music, dance, and crafts.

1. An Individual Service Agreement (ISA) is a document that tells about a resident’s services and supports. The agreement describes what the client can expect to be different in his/her life, as a result of receiving Medicaid supports funded by the Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD). The Individual Service Agreement is developed to articulate decisions and agreements made during a person-centered process of planning and information gathering. The general welfare and personal preferences of the individual are the key consideration in the development of all plans

3. Purpose of Request for Volunteers/Interns:

The former volunteers had typically come to the Lukas Community through foreign agencies in Germany and other European countries for a gap year of service. These agencies work with 18-year-old people who are required to perform a year of community service. The volunteers each receive $250/month pocket money.  At this time, we have none of our traditional contracts with foreign agencies.

With COVID- 19 spreading so rapidly, many countries have closed their borders. Our volunteers have been recalled to their homeland. As of the end of March, 50% of the workforce departed from the Lukas Community. We have been able to hire some part-time employees, but we still need live-in volunteers.  Filling the gap left by the seven departing volunteers has been challenging. This shift in the staffing model has already had tremendous impact on residents. Given the nature of their disabilities, any change in their daily routine creates long-term anxiety and stress. Since its inception in 1981, the Lukas Community has been a model organization for the disabled where its daily, weekly and yearly schedule creates an environment of peace and consistency. People with disabilities thrive in a highly structured rhythm of life. With the departure of all of volunteers, the daily rhythm has shifted. Although staff are working hard to maintain as much normalcy as possible for residents, they are seeing an increase in behaviors that are driven by anxiety of the unfamiliar. The Lukas Community is following Governor Sununu’s Executive Orders to keep all of our residents and staff safe. 

4. What Lukas can offer Volunteers/Interns:

With many, if not most, Colleges and Universities offering remote learning, we are looking for volunteers locally.  The Lukas Community could provide room/board/internet in exchange for hands-on learning opportunities with adults with developmental disabilities.  This model has, for years, been very beneficial and valuable to the volunteers and interns who have stayed with us.  We can offer a flexible schedule around the student’s course work, and can work with them to create an educational experience they can use post-graduation.  Volunteers will be trained and supervised by our live-in staff, and experience a family setting while supporting the needs of our residents.  We can track and document educational hours for the students to submit to the University showing the skills/knowledge they are learning.

The Volunteers/Interns would learn the resident’s unique gifts and challenges, while supporting them in a meaningful life.

Address: P.O. Box 137, 63 Memorial Highway, Temple, NH 03084
Executive Director: Kristen Stanton, Kristen.stanton@lukascommunity.org
Contact: Kate Dean, Administrative and Development Officer, kdean@lukascommunity.org
Telephone: 603-878-4796

Website: www.lukascommunity.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The –Lukas-Community

Volunteer Openings

We’re seeing a change in the way our volunteers come to us, with more people choosing to come for only six months. For most of our existence, we have had a cohort of wonderful new high school graduates arrive together at the beginning of August, and depart at the beginning of the following August. However, for a variety of reasons, this is changing. We have recently had people coming at all times of year, to stay for six or nine or twelve months. This greatly increases the time we spend on training, interviewing, inviting, and preparing for prospective volunteers, and filling the gaps between the comings and goings, which is time we’re not spending on enriching the lives and daily routines of our residents. So we have decided to change our acceptance windows to volunteers coming for six to twelve months, to start in February or August only. We do have a few more openings for February, 2020. Interested? Please fill out the application at “Join Us”!

Welcome New Houseparents!

We welcome Vikrant and Sony Shivdasani as our new houseparents/coworkers as of May 1, 2019! They have lots of experience and enthusiasm, and we are so happy to have them! At the moment, our need is filled. If you would like to be considered for a future opening, please let us know.

We do have openings for a few more volunteers to start in February, 2020, as more volunteers come for six months instead of twelve. We’re happy to have people come for at least six months, and those who are US citizens may stay for longer than one year if they choose.