CUMMING -- After some bumps in the road, a center for adults with disabilities opened this week.
On Thursday, Creative Enterprises Inc. opened its Forsyth campus at the former Cumming Parks and Recreation building, which the city of Cumming is leasing for $1 per year.
The day program is for adults with special needs who are too old to attend the public school system.
“Creative Enterprises is a training and employment program for people with disabilities,” Executive Director Leigh McIntosh said. “The training includes work training so that those people who are interested in going and working with the community can do that successfully.”
Opening the center went through a long process of state approval before getting the go-ahead about two weeks ago.
“It’s very exciting, and I was kind of anxious because I was so excited, but I’m just so happy to be here,” said Aaisha Khokhar, who works in the new center.
McIntosh, who has been with the group’s Lawrenceville location for 35 years, said the program will also offer classes tied to health and attendees’ interests.
“We have classes based on their interests, because even if they have goals they’re working on in order to go to work or whatever, you can’t do that six hours a day, so we try to have classes based on interest,” she said. “A lot of times they have exercise goals.”
Though 10 students were selected, only a few could attend the first day due to some restrictions.
“Because of all the issues in terms of getting the numbers we needed from the state for Medicaid and getting all of the clients approved, that depended on our opening date,” McIntosh said. “Even though we’ve got 10 folks identified, they haven’t all gotten their full approval yet, so we’re just waiting, but we did open with three today, which is exciting.”
Creative Enterprises hopes to add another 10 in about six weeks and eventually reach 70 students.
The program was spearheaded and will be run by Lisa Bennett, a retired special education teacher from Forsyth County Schools. She was unable to attend the first day due to illness.
Leigh said support from the community has been outstanding.
“There must be a great need in this county because I had a group of people come to Creative Enterprises in Lawrenceville and look at our program and say we need something like this in Forsyth,” McIntosh said. “We kind of bounced that around for a few years, and I said, ‘I can provide the program, but there’s nothing in the funding for a building.
“Anything that we’ve needed, they’ve just found a way to do it.”
Those who are interested in registering for the program or looking for more information can go to ceisite.com. Registration can be completed under the “Forsyth Campus” tab.