Pastor wants to provide housing for adults with developmental disabilities in South Side Easton
Morning Call - 6/6/2018
June 06--A New Jersey pastor wants to provide housing for adults with special needs in South Side Easton.
Donna Johnson, a pastor at Cathedral International North Hills Church in Teaneck, N.J., wants to provide housing for two adults with autism and other developmental disabilities at 1007 W. Berwick St.
Johnson, who has registered the home under Agape Human Services, LLC, will appear before the Easton Zoning Hearing Board for a use variance to allow a group home at 6:30 p.m. on June 18.
The meeting will be held in City Council chambers at 123 S. Third St.
Johnson wants to provide housing for two adult individuals who will attend a day program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. When they are in the home, one staff member will provide assistance from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., and a second staff member will work 11 p.m. to 9 a.m., Johnson explained.
Johnson is the daughter of former Shiloh Church Pastor Greg Davis who died in 2005.
She said she wants to follow in her fathers' footsteps by providing housing for clients in need.
"My family has always been involved in human services efforts," Johnson said.
Her father built a 52-unit senior living facility in South Side Easton called Shiloh Manor and across the street built 12 townhouses for low-to-moderate income individuals, she said.
The goal of the West Berwick Street home will be to help the individuals become more independent and eventually transition into the workforce. It wasn't clear how long they might stay in the home.
Some individuals may require more assistance than others, for example they might need help with washing clothes and personal hygiene. They will also learn how to use public transportation, how to handle finances, and eventually apply for jobs.
The home, which is a double, is owned by Johnson's sister Karen Davis.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Agape Human Services, LLC operates one licensed home in Easton. The renewal inspection of the home was completed on April 3.
Johnson said she would eventually like to expand and offer more assisted living opportunities.
"They are coming out of various institutions, a lot of times with nowhere to go. There is a need, not only in Easton, but state-wide and country-wide for this population," she said.
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