Angel View, an organization in southern, California that once catered to polio victims, and now offers group homes to disabled children and adults, held its annual luncheon. Having supported the organization for the past few years, I am thrilled to see these local organizations thrive.
Mel Haber, business owner and speaker, is a well known figure in Palm Springs. His work as the Executive Board President of Angel View started many years ago when there were only a few group homes available for disabled children; today there are 19! New homes are being added as the demand for care of the chronically disabled remains a needed service.
Angel View not only houses and cares for these disabled individual’s, it also has a new daycare center, of which they open up to the community for those not living in their homes. Angel View is truly a well-run and well-supported organization that fills a need for those that can handle a group home environment. It is not a suitable solution for all, but certainly the residents that can adjust to this living arrangement, thrive.
Every year Angel View honors a resident (client) as the Client of the Year. Joel Grossberg, a tall, nice looking young man with a smile that could melt ice, was the recipient this year. He came to Angel View at the age of six from Brooklyn, NY, in June 1996. He has lived in a few different houses during his time at Angel View. He graduated from Palm Springs High School and is now an employee of Desert Ace. It is quite a success story.
As Joel accepted his award today, he glowed. I wondered if he still had a relationship with his family. I stopped by his table and congratulated him on his award. He gave me that “killer smile” and said thank you. As I walked away from the table, a man approached me. With tears in his eyes he said, “Thank you for acknowledging my son.” Indeed, Joel had his father by his side at an important moment.
As I have said before, caring for our disabled child or sibling is a life-long responsibility. We all have to live with our own decisions as to the actions we take in raising our disabled child and whether they can live at home or if it is better for all for them to live in a group environment. I am sure Mr. Grossberg was devastated when he placed Joel at Angel View. This is the most painful decision a parent or sibling will make regarding their disabled child.
I knew when he thanked me that it was much more than me acknowledging his son, it was his way of saying that he made the right decision. Yes, Mr. Grossberg, your son did just fine and you made the right choice. Never easy, it was the decision he made for Joel and his family.
Congratulations, Joel Grossberg! Keep smiling and giving us all hope.