Lenox Non-Profit of the Month: Starfire

Starfire has been working to build better lives for people with developmental disabilities since 1993. Their mission is to change the condition of social isolation that people with developmental disabilities face by connecting them to citizens who share their common interests and passions through their core work of community building. 

People with disabilities make up the largest minority in the country, though they are often left out of community life and go unseen by greater society. People with developmental disabilities are often segregated into separate programs and housing where their social connections are comprised primarily of paid staff and other people with developmental disabilities. Systemic congregation over the years has led to social isolation, resulting in feelings of loneliness and stress.

Starfire’s work happens directly one-on-one with people with developmental disabilities. Through their support, they deepen and build relationships between people with developmental disabilities and unpaid community members without disabilities in order to promote well-being and increased quality of life in our communities over time. In this way, Starfire builds greater social inclusion for people by broadening social networks. This leads to discovering unique volunteer and employment opportunities, membership in established community groups or by starting a new community initiative with ordinary citizens (community garden, hiking club, etc.)

Their success is seen in both their qualitative and quantitative outcomes:  

  • Watch Starfire’s stories

  • 89% of people with developmental disabilities served by Starfire attain a valued social role (volunteer position, complete a project, obtain paid employment) after ~150 hours in their core 1:1 model

  • 92% of the jobs attained by people with developmental disabilities served by Starfire come as a result of social connections made through their 1:1 work. Currently, 21 people with developmental disabilities are employed with competitive wages in 25 different Cincinnati businesses

  • 92% of people with developmental disabilities see an increase in their social network after 6 months in our program.

  • 95% of people with developmental disabilities served by Starfire maintain previous community relationships after 6 months.

  • 86% of families of people with DD are active in building their family member with DD’s social networks.

Starfire is dedicated to making a difference in people with developmental disabilities’ lives locally. They also scale their efforts by training outside disability organizations interested in making a transformational shift in their services and approach. 

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Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

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