St. Charles Herald-Guide

Arc of St. Charles is a helping hand for the disabled

M. Susanne Hinkle - July 5, 2006

The Arc of St. Charles is a non-profit organization that is committed to providing services and support that enable persons of all ages with developmental disabilities and special needs to attain their potential. The Arc of St. Charles has been providing services to the handicapped persons of St. Charles Parish since 1971.

Sarah White, a nurse at the Arc, works with one exceptional young man, Matthew Williams, in his home in St. Rose.  White has been with Williams since he was eight years old.  Now 15, Matthew has progressed greatly with the continuing help of his caring nurse and the staff of the Arc.   "Matthew has come a long way since I first met him seven years ago.  He has learned so many things.  It is a wonderful experience working with him," said White. 

Matthew is a resident of St. Rose, has two older brothers. and is a 7th grade student at Albert Cammon Middle School.  "Matthew loves playing his Game Cube.  If you leave him, he will just play for hours," said his nurse.  She went on to say, "He is a very sweet young man." 

Matthew is just one of the many disabled persons in St. Charles Parish that benefit from the services provided by the Arc.  In a room filled with persons of all ages, the groups are busy filling work orders, such a paper contract.  "The clients get paid by the pound to shred paper and documents," said an Arc worker.   Keeping them busy and productive is just one service the Arc offers their clients.
The caring staff of the Arc  continually strives to improve the quality of life for all participants by offering services such as enclaves and mobile work crews, adult habilitation, respite care, family support services, supervised independent living and long term personal care services. 

The Arc strives to promote and maintain a high level of professionalism in all areas and to maximize all resources, human and financial, in the interest of helping all that they serve.  The Arc offers the best trained staff possible to provide the services required for the clients who utilize the Arc's services. 

The Arc's vocational services are designed to provide individuals with a number of vocational opportunities and experiences to help them find and maintain gainful employment.  Vocational services such as Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, are funded through local and federal sources.  The Arc also offers supported employment through the creation of partnerships with local businesses and industry.  Amanda Bledsoe, a client of the Arc, recently got a new job at Wal-Mart with the help of Kim Pierre, Supported Employment Coordinator for the Arc.

The Arc of St. Charles is under the direction of Sue Agnelly, Executive Director, Victoria Bryant, Dir. Hab. Services, Leah Johnson, Arleen Friloux, Ravin Labiche, Aimee Richards, Rose Williams and Donna Lombardo, Ex. Assistant.  For more information about the Arc of St. Charles, contact 985-785-0971.

Matthew Williams and his caring home nurse, Sarah White.
Matthew Williams and his caring home nurse, Sarah White.