The NorthStar Neighborhood, home of the “The Farm” in Sumner, Washington.
The NorthStar Neighborhood exists to purchase farmland to build a place of meaningful employment, pride, friendship, and community for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults in the east Pierce County region.
The goal of “The Farm” is to employ a workforce not otherwise employed by area businesses, develop skills associated with agriculture, provide meaningful and fulfilling work experiences, and to provide social interaction and community with peers in a supported setting.
“The Farm” will employ, as it’s primary workforce, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Individuals who require a little more assistance to be successful who at present, have very limited, if any, options for employment. Jobs will include animal care, soil preparation, planting, tending, weeding, harvesting, selling of products, general maintenance and construction, and land stewardship.
Also employed by The Farm will be staff who have the appropriate skills to oversee, mentor, and assist the employees. Social workers, occupational therapists, healthcare workers, educators, farmers, and building and grounds maintenance professionals.
The work week will be a standard Monday through Friday schedule, with the flexibility to accommodate more or less working hours on any given day. We understand that I/DD individuals needs vary daily and so must their work expectation. Wages and taxes will be paid for all worked hours. A set work day will allow the families and caregivers of the employees the opportunity to themselves work or pursue activities outside the home.
In providing the employee with a predictable schedule and a place of work, we are supporting their families and caregivers by offering respite. Our goal in supporting the families of these young adults is that they may continue to live in the family home and not rely on the state for residential placement.
Our greater community will benefit from locally sourced agricultural products, more individuals in the workforce and outside the home, and a connected social network for individuals who typically lack a support structure.
ps. If you have great name for a farm, we’d love to hear it!
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