Part of the Community in Roseville
1 Apr 2022
News, Choose Roseville, Featured, Success Stories
“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is often attributed to the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Yet, the philosophy applies to the work of Roseville-based Northeast Contemporary Services, Inc. (NCSI), which specializes in cultivating self-sufficiency in people with disabilities.
“Our goal has always been community integration, not isolation, and Roseville has always welcomed our involvement in the community,” said Jennifer Freeburg, executive director at NCSI. “The more our clients are integrated into daily life in our community, the more their lives are enriched and they feel equal to everyone else.”
Since 1967, the nonprofit NCSI has been providing services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they explore and participate in employment, career-building, education, independent living skills and retirement opportunities. While the focus on those services has remained the same, the age groups NCSI served have changed throughout the years. Today, its focus is on adults from 21 years of age and older. They focus on independent living skills for the younger persons, while those closer to retirement age receive recreational and leisure opportunities.
Life skills and more
NCSI offers structured curriculum-based programming where participants can join groups focused on lifelong learning, recreation and volunteer service, both at its Roseville location and in the community. Roseville has always been an ideal community for NCSI’s activities because its abundant amenities, like the Rosedale Mall, an extensive park system and multiple libraries, offer the opportunity to interact with individuals who do not have disabilities, said Freeburg.
“We provide dignity of risk,” she said. “We believe our clients have the right to make choices and take reasonable risks to learn, grow, increase self-esteem and have a better quality of life.”
Clients who wish for employment opportunities participate in a community job search. Roseville’s broad range of businesses offers many employment opportunities, including retail, restaurant and food service, hospitality, manufacturing, groundskeeping and more.
Hiring individuals from NCSI offers many benefits. NCSI provides training for its clients to do the jobs they are hired for and performs ongoing, on-site worker support and follow-up visits to ensure an employer’s needs are being met. Area businesses historically continue their involvement with NCSI because of the positive relationships developed, not because they are doing anyone a favor, said Freeburg.
“Many businesses welcome partnerships with us because they see the value our individuals bring to them,” she said. “Employers know persons with disabilities are more dependable, offer higher retention rates than other individuals and help generate an overall positive work environment.”
As with most businesses in 2022, the disability field is facing a tremendous workforce crisis today, resulting in day programs and group homes closing because they can no longer provide the support clients need. Freeburg said the field is an excellent career that offers both enjoyable work and a rewarding experience to make a positive impact on many individuals’ lives. Beyond careers with NCSI, individuals can make a difference by volunteering their time and talents.
“Anyone with a special hobby or skill is welcome to share it with our clients,” she said. “A 30-minute activity, like singing, craft-making or bringing a service animal is extremely appreciated here.”
Freeburg is the first point of contact for anyone interested in applying for a job, volunteering their time or wishing to make donations. Information can be requested at:
Northeast Contemporary Services, Inc.
2770 Cleveland Avenue North
Roseville MN 55113
The Roseville Economic Development Authority (REDA) coordinates and administers economic development and redevelopment initiatives for the City of Roseville, MN. It serves as a comprehensive resource for businesses seeking to startup and grow in the area. In addition to prioritizing business retention and expansion, the REDA connects area employers with the dedicated and talented workforce they need to succeed and thrive.