RHD DeFuniak Springs Receives Grant to Improve Community’s Quality of Life

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found themselves with a lot of sudden free time. Some people learned to bake bread; others started to play a musical instrument.

Sandra Spann from RHD DeFuniak Springs in Florida found a grant to apply for.

The St. Joe Community Foundation provides grants to organizations that help improve the quality of life for residents of Northwest Florida. It’s a natural fit for RHD DeFuniak Springs, a community-based clubhouse model and day program serving adults with developmental disabilities. “We want it to relate to their real life,” says Spann, regarding their adult day training program. “Supported living coaches handle all the third-party benefits, grocery shopping, doctor’s visits — everything that requires the client to be out and about.”

They acquired a $10,000 grant in the spring of 2021. “The grant helped support clients during the time of COVID when they couldn’t get out in their community like they normally do.” The money enabled co-directors Spann and Sandy Weimorts to purchase COVID-19-related and cleaning supplies as well as games and “new rocking chairs for the court as the clients spend so much time here on the front porch watching the lake and people walk by.” RHD DeFuniak Springs is in the process of reapplying for the grant in 2022.

“One of the things that has been said about our program that we try to stress is, we’re not just part of the community. The community is part of us,” Spann says. “I’ll give you a very good example. We were walking this morning behind the client. A lady I had never even seen come up to me and say, ‘You walk with these people every day’. So, we’re seen in the community with the client, and the community interacts with us. It’s not just us interacting with them.”