Arc of Tri-Cities Expanding Programs, Services - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Arc of Tri-Cities Expanding Programs, Services

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RICHLAND, WA - A local organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities is gaining momentum and expanding their services.

The Arc of Tri-Cities has some exciting things going on.      

Their Parent to Parent Program is offering more workshops and groups and thanks to some new funding they are also offering more for Spanish speaking families.

Directors say knowing about these resources can be life changing for local families. 

"It's pretty overwhelming when you find out that your child has some kind of inteintellectualability," Melissa Brooks said. 

Brooks is the Parent to Parent coordinator at the Arc of Tri-Cities, she says that is why getting the word out about their workshops and groups is so important.    

They recently got some funding from the county and they have been able to expand their services in Spanish.

"Spanish speaking families, I think even have a harder time finding the help that they need so we're really happy that we can really try to fill that need for them and help them through that journey of trying to figure all of that out," Brooks said. 

The arc has been increasing the number of workshops they hold, covering everything from new technology for non-verbal people, coffee groups, epilepsy training and recently social learning. 

"It's challenging, it's hard because you get a lot of behaviors and meltdowns when you're helping children who have those kinds of challenges out in public and its so stressful for families to do it alone so we figured out a group we can help each other," Brooks said. 

That is how the Better Together TC group came about and now they are under the Arc's wing and will be holding an open house this Saturday.  

The Arc is also doing more to help families of adults with intellectual disabilities.

"We're always building new programs, we're trying to really get this Saturday night project off the ground. Mom and dad never get a date night, how hard it is to have an adult with severe disabilities and then you never get time for yourself," said Megan Fort, who runs the adult programs at the Arc.

But all of this would not be possibly without the funding, which is at times scarce.  

"It's very important to get help from the community," said Helen Martinez, Bookkeeper at the Arc. 

The Arc has a big fundraiser coming up, it is called Viva Las Vegas, it is Saturday April 11th at the Pasco Red Lion.

You can get tickets at Ranch and Home or at the Arc.