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Down Syndrome Supported Living announces board of directors

By Staff | Nov 19, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Featured in this photo from Halloween are, from left, Jesse Landis, Frank Bianca, Cory Darby, Jeff Scott, Helene Dopfer (treasurer DSSL) and Stephen Lee.

Down Syndrome Supported Living Inc. has announced its board of directors for 2020-2022: President Peter Alexsy, Vice-President Rick Scott, Treasurer Marilyn Alexsy and Secretary Helene Dopfer

Down Syndrome Supported Living Inc. was established in 1989 by parents and advocates who wanted to help others in the community who needed support and education. With the help of donations, grants and community volunteers DSSL was able to build a six-bedroom duplex called St. James Place. Since then DSSL provides not just a residence but a home with which to enhance the welfare and independence of those with Down Syndrome and other learning disabilities.

Daily operations for St. James Place, such as rent and food, are paid for by the residents. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unforeseen hardship for the young men. Most have underlying health issues which make it unadvisable to continue employment within the community. While federal social programs become underfunded, the financial burden is now compounded by the additional cost for essential personal protective equipment for the staff and residents.

Tough economic times and the reduction of funds available make it difficult to create a reserve for unexpected repairs and continued capital improvements. DSSL would like to thank “Lee Cares” for its support. The Home Depot Foundation has been approached in hopes of donating an 8-foot x 12-foot storage shed.

Short term needs of the facility include: N95 masks, gloves and hand sanitizer; cooking utensils like crock pots, flatware, pots and pans; and, as always, tax deductible cash donations.

DSSL has gone through many changes. Since opening the goal has remained the same, to provide not just somewhere to live, but a place that feels like home. Because Down syndrome most often occurs in children born to older parents, the chance of the child outliving his or her parents is a common problem. The hope is to provide a home where, if this happened, there would be someone to help care for and guide residents in their everyday living.

The ongoing success of DSSL relies on donations from private citizens, public grants and charitable organizations like the Cape Royal Community Foundation, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis and the Cape Coral Community Foundation.

Tax deductible donations can be made payable to: Down Syndrome Supported Living, Inc. (DSSL, Inc), PO Box 150448, Cape Coral, FL 33903.

St. James Place is located at 1407/1409 Academy Blvd., Cape Coral, 33990.