What is Emory Valley Center?
For many of us, it is just some “buildings” located on Emory Valley Road, in the east side of Oak Ridge. We know generally that it was formed years ago to help “handicapped” people. We recognize it as a busy place with cars coming in and out, and driving around our community with the EVC logo on them.
We know children and adults and many Oak Ridge “seniors” share building space for their daily activities. But, it is much more.
This unique location enrolls adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our Day Services Center, who interact with trained staff by offering daily activities. Our Work Activity Center has more than 70 adults using their job skills taught by our staff to earn a paycheck for the first time in their lives. Our Life Enrichment program is a curriculum-based classroom setting that provides services to more than 40 adults. Our Early Learning Center, located next to our Life Enrichment program on the north side of Emory Valley Road, offers children from 12 months to five years of age inclusive preschool programs to jump-start their lives prior to entering school.
We also have just opened our Choices Center, offering a day program with transportation, to adults with physical disabilities, providing their caregivers much-needed personal time. This new program is designed to keep individuals in their homes and communities rather than having to live in assisted-living facilities or nursing homes.
Our general office building is located on the south side of EVC, next to our Work Activity Center, and houses our staff who manage our 250 employees, and our Health Service Center which oversees all the medical care and medications for more than 105 individuals. I hope that provides you an explanation why our campus always appears, to the passerby, to be such a busy place.
Besides offering programming at our center to people in our five-county service region in East Tennessee, we also operate 35 residential sites. These are homes (sometimes group, sometimes individual residences) for more than 95 adults. These homes are monitored and staffed by EVC employees 24 hours a day, guaranteeing a rich, active life to adults who might otherwise have few life experiences.
We also offer trained professionals to assist families in positive educational developments and lifestyle pursuits, for their children and adults with disabilities, in the privacy of their own home.
Emory Valley Center has the largest Early Intervention Program in our state, providing services to more than 400 children from birth to age three in a home or community-based setting.
My goal is to create awareness and outreach in our community. We are continuing our capital fund drive to build a much-needed new center, as all our services on the north side of Emory Valley Road will have to relocate by 2014. Businesses and individuals have generously donated to our new center. So far, we have raised $1.7 million of the $3 million needed for construction.
Our dynamic duo of Dr. Gene Caldwell and Dottie Thompson are still soliciting contributions for the building. I am also trying to broaden our volunteer base—please come and help us help people! I welcome you to take a tour … see what is going on first-hand. Don’t take my word for it!
Would you like to start receiving our quarterly newsletter communication venue? Perhaps you would like to make a donation to our center in honor of a special person in your life or a memoriam to someone who is no longer with you. All of these are my steps toward increased awareness, but I need your help.
As your humble elected servant, I strive to raise our quality of life in Anderson County through Anderson County government. Emory Valley Center, as a nonprofit entity, does the same, for a population that long ago was “invisible.” Check out our www.emoryvalleycenter.com or our Facebook page for interactive photos and communication about our offerings.
I welcome you to open up your mind and heart to a new adventure that will provide you more satisfaction than you thought possible.
Please contact me at email@example.com or call me at (865) 201-5361 to discuss your involvement.
Robin H. Biloski is Emory Valley Center development director.