WBZ Cares: Comprehensive Services

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling Cape Abilities, a non-profit organization that serves individuals with disabilities on Cape Cod by educating, counseling and providing residential, therapeutic, social and employment supports that empower them to achieve meaningful and valued roles in the community.

CapeAbilities has been serving individuals on Cape Cod with disabilities since 1968.

“At that time there were no vocational programs in the area. So there was a group of parents who started Nauset Workshop for a vocational training and we have grown immensely since then,” stated Beth O'Brien, CapeAbilities contracts and billing coordinator.

They began serving just four individuals, now they're called CapeAbilities and they serve 400. Beth O'Brien has worked there for 23 years. She's seen first-hand how the organization has changed lives. 

“I get emotional thinking about it because I’ve been lucky enough to see people with their growth. And to see someone come in and just be very into themselves and shy and then they’ll, within months they walk down the hall high-fiving people, saying hello to everyone, or they’re excited because they've gotten a job,” said O’Brien.

To fulfill the mission of empowering each individual to thrive in an inclusive community, Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Sproul says the services have to be comprehensive.

“Housing, residential support, transportation so people can get from their home to their day program or to their job. We also have day programming five days a week. There’s employment, job training, job coaching,” Sproul outlined.

And they also run social business enterprises including the CapeAbilities farm in Dennis, the Farm Market in Chatham, a thrift shop in West Yarmouth and a vending business. Serving as real-world, hands-on job training grounds for participants and providing valued services to the community.

“We're running businesses that serve as launch pad for community-based employment as well, so it’s a real set of wrap-around services and that’s one thing that makes CapeAbilities unique is that we provide the full level of comprehensive services for each individual,” Sproul outlined.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Shari Small Reports

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