SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — JESPY House and its Michael Och House, a center for aging at JESPY, recently received the 2021 Carl F. West Award from NJ Advocates for Aging Well. JESPY House provides essential services to adults, ages 18 to 73, with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The award announcement was made by Charisse Smith, West’s niece and an NJAAW board member, at the nonprofit’s 23rd annual conference, “Rebounding and Rebuilding.”
To honor West (1939-2018), who was the longest-serving Area Agency on Aging executive director, NJAAW sought nominations of individuals and organizations that have made a difference in the lives of older adults. A committee comprising West’s colleagues and family members reviewed the nominations from around the state and selected JESPY as the winner.
NJAAW’s new executive director, Cathy Rowe, later presented the crystal award at the Michael Och House to JESPY shared housing supervisor Michelle Rampersant-Faulk, several Och House clients and JESPY support staff.
“Unlike many other agencies, we offer a ‘whole-life’ program in the walkable town of South Orange. Our clients are truly a part of the community,” JESPY Executive Director Audrey Winkler said. “They live and shop here, socialize and work here, and set down roots here. Many other agencies consider JESPY to be a model to emulate as we consistently seek to enhance our services for the clients we serve.”
Photos Courtesy of Sonya Kimble-Ellis