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Staying the Course for Future Success

Published by John Kaiser on

As Triangle looks to grows its Day Programs in the future, it will do so by leveraging its recent innovations and facilities upgrades.

Throughout the month, we will be highlighting the unique goals for each of our major programs as part of our recently launched Five-Year Strategic Growth Plan. Next up in our series of weekly blog posts is our Community-Based Day Services and Supported Employment programs – or Day Programs for short.

Triangle Day Programs operate from four different sites – Malden (2 locations, including our new Prism Program), Randolph, and Salem. Combined, these locations serve 260 individuals ages 16 and up. Each program offers a variety of employment-based learning with a mix of other enrichment and educational activities that emphasize community engagement/volunteerism, independent living, and empowerment. When our strategic planning collaborators at Community Action Partners did an assessment on the strengths of Triangle Day Programs, they quickly endorsed our traditional model that prioritizes services for individuals and future referrals who want to gain competitive employment in the community. They encouraged us to think about how this focus can be improved, expanded, and customized for future referrals as opposed to pursuing options that would take us away from our formula for past success.

The three main drivers of growth within our Day Programs will be:

  1. Continued growth with the newly launched Prism Program: This program was launched in spring 2022 and served 15 autistic young adults with customized services that nurture each of their unique individualized growth plans. The Prism Program currently operates out of our site on Main Street in Malden and serves people from Metro North and North Shore communities. This program was launched in partnership with the Commonwealth to meet unmet needs for this expanding population. Since launching, there has been continual interest from new referrals with steady growth in enrollment. Throughout the next five years, this program will grow to capacity (45 total members) at our current site and explore launching a second location within Triangle’s current service area.
  1. Rapid expansion in the North Shore: In February 2020, Triangle relocated our North Shore regional Day Program site to Shetland Park in Salem. This move doubled our capacity and greatly upgraded our facilities with new technology and a bright, welcoming location with seafront views. Timing, however, was not ideal with the looming pandemic requiring a move to virtual programming for much of the next year following our ribbon cutting. This site currently serves 49 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and will be aggressively adding more referrals. By 2027, the Salem location will nearly double its current enrollment and serve more than 80 people.
  1. New relationships with new schools/districts: Triangle’s School-to-Career model has long been an innovative project that pairs our high-quality employment-focused transition services to students ages 18-22 while they are still enrolled in school-based programing. Students attend Triangle programs for multiple days each week, learning job-skills, receiving on-the-job work experiences, and developing long-term career goals. This program also provided students with a smoother “turning 22” transition when they move from school to adult service programs. As programs adapt to “new normal” models of programs within school districts, Triangle is eager to re-explore the School-to-Career model and other ways that we can build pre-employment skills. As part of our Five-Year Strategic Growth Plan, we will be spending the next year learning from district partners, families, and students to learn about their emerging needs and how our past models could be adapted to equip young adults with the tools they need to find, attain, and retain competitive employment prior to leaving school.

These high-priority growth goals come on the heels of a tremendous set of facilities upgrades to our Day Program locations. After moving from our longtime home on Pearl Street – which no longer met the needs of our participants – we opened our new site at 450 Broadway in Malden earlier this year. This new location has four classrooms, a computer lab, and fully accessible facilities on a single level – no stairs or elevators. This new location will be ideal as we provide programs for people we have served for decades while adapting and curating programs for new members of our Day Programs.

Of course, all this exciting growth is built on a foundation of success. We will continue to expand our trainings and professional development opportunities to our dedicated staff across all Day Program locations and continue to develop pathways for meaningful career growth at Triangle. Without the investment in our staff, continued excellence and future growth would not be possible.

Do you want to support the 2,000 people we serve each year while investing in our plan to reach another 1,000 people with disabilities in the next five years?  Consider investing in our current services and our future growth with a gift to our end of year fundraising efforts by clicking here.

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