Meet Jesse

His upbeat and positive attitude inspires everyone around him. And Jesse displays a “thumbs up” in almost every photo he appears in. Here’s how the Rose House’s “goodest guy,” as he’s known by friends and family, beat the odds to find the most suitable forever home for his unique needs.

As with any parent of a kid with developmental disabilities, finding a proper home setting took tremendous patience and involved a lot of emotion. On the advice of Jesse’s special needs attorney and advocate, Jesse entered the DDD (Division of Developmental Disabilities) “system” at age 3, but it wasn’t until age 20 when a first opportunity for a group home finally became available.

Although that first group home setting wasn’t ideal, Jesse’s mom and dad understood that if they didn’t accept the placement, Jesse would move way back down the priority list. So, after much soul searching, they followed their attorney’s advice.

And as their attorney had promised them, “things” would indeed get better.

In 2011, Jesse’s parents met with Rose House Founder Mark Kramer, who found them a placement in the Independent Living Program at the Hanover Apartments in Cedar Knolls, NJ. Jesse lived there happily for years until he eventually moved to the Alison House nearby with housemates even more suited for him.

Jesse now lives in the new Glencove Group Home in Morris Plains, NJ, which is a nearly perfect setting as his three new housemates share similar personalities and abilities with him. The Glencove Group Home enables Jesse to help prepare meals, load the dishwasher, exercise in his home gym and go for walks in the beautiful neighborhood.

“Rose House has made all the difference in the world,” said his mother Louise. “Jesse has become family and is friendly with everyone. From day one, he had felt like it was his home away from home, and the transition to Glencove was easy because he was familiar with the staff.”

Jesse’s naturally mechanical mind and need for order is also perfect for his job at GreenVision, a program where individuals with Autism properly dismantle and recycle unwanted electronics. “Jesse can take apart a laptop computer in a matter of minutes,” his father Teddy explained. “He puts all the little pieces of copper and silver and screws into appropriate compartments. He does it standing up all day, never tires of it and he loves being there. They tell us that he’s one of the most highly productive employees.”

Jesse’s two favorite hobbies (after eating) had been bowling and swimming but everything changed as of 2021. As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown and a need to find some fresh new activities to keep Jesse stimulated, his parents and Jesse discovered Legos. Looking at the 100+ page instruction manuals, there was a concern that the Lego models would be too difficult. But much to everyone’s surprise, the complicated drawings were exactly what allowed Jesse to master it. He relates to the diagrams, and the lack of words is right up his alley. To date, he has built over 30 models, many of which require over 4,000 puzzle parts and take weeks to complete.

Louise, Teddy and Jesse’s step-father Frank are big supporters of Rose House’s annual “Day of Dreams” golf event each year. Louise volunteers throughout the event, signing in golfers all morning and then selling raffle tickets during the luncheon. Frank and Teddy are also instrumental in the event’s success as they recruit many foursomes from the Upper Montclair Country Club.


Fall 2023 Newsletter

Cover image for Rose House fall 2023 In Bloom newsletterWelcome to the fall 2023 edition of Rose House’s In Bloom newsletter! Click on the front cover image above to view the newsletter in its entirety.


Meet Ted

Rose House residents and staff members often call Ted the “president” or “mayor” because he enjoys meeting and greeting visitors, and helping those around him. He loves to feel needed and valued for his contributions.

Ted’s positive and outgoing demeanor was influenced by a close relationship with his parents, three brothers and a sister on Long Island. The family enjoyed camping and educational trips, such as museums, zoos and historical sites. When he was old enough, Ted’s parents exposed him to a variety of cultures by traveling with him overseas and to many U.S. states.

After graduating from the Carman Road School, Ted worked at a United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) workshop, where he loved his packaging and labeling career. The facility also provided training and medical services to the disabled, and because Ted had a great memory for locations and directions, he was sometimes asked to serve as a transporter or guide for people who needed their wheelchairs pushed to various appointments.

As Ted’s parents got older, the family decided to move them all from Long Island to Morris Plains, New Jersey. There they could be closer to his sister Laura and her family. Ted and his mom moved into a little ranch house in Cedar Knolls, and he got a great new job at Employment Horizons (EH).

Over time, it became important for Ted to find a residence of his own, and luckily in February 2016, a spot opened up at Rose House’s Independent Living Program at the Hanover Apartments. The apartments are located right down the street from EH, and many of his co-workers were already living there.

“Moving to the Rose House gave Ted the chance to learn to think and act for himself,” Laura explained. “Most importantly, it gave him the chance to be part of and live with a big, busy and funny family again. He loves the affection and togetherness.”

After more than seven years at the Hanover Apartment’s Independent Living Program, Ted now resides at the Glencove Group Home in Morris Plains. He was able to keep his job at Employment Horizons and remain close to his original housemates.

Ted loves getting to know his new housemates as they share his interest in bowling, going to the movies and parties where he can dance and sing karaoke. He still travels, but these days it’s to spend quality time with siblings, either at their homes or at the lake house his parents owned near the Delaware River, where he can swim, kayak and help with all the chores.


Meet Lisa

How often do you meet someone who loves their job so much that they never want to retire? Lisa is the perfect example of this rare personality.

Happily employed at the Morris County Library in Whippany since 1988, Lisa is the first smiling face to greet customers when she unlocks the door each morning. She also brings in borrowed items from the drop-off box, inspects returned CDs and has various other responsibilities that she finds fulfilling.

Although she found joy in her career, Lisa used to come home from work and live a reclusive lifestyle. She often watched TV and seldom reached out to friends for social interaction. That all changed in 2014 after moving to Rose House’s independent living apartments.

“Lisa has blossomed and is much more outgoing ever since living there,” her mother Ginny explained. “Her father and I were shocked when we went to a Rose House event and she was dancing away with everybody. Lisa is now more comfortable around people and has become quite the social butterfly. Before she wanted to be alone, but now she likes being in the spotlight.”

Although Lisa has come out of her shell and enjoys group activities with her fellow residents, she still appreciates her peace and quiet for personal activities, especially puzzle books, jigsaw puzzles, coloring and playing video games. In addition, social media has also given Lisa the freedom to be outgoing while enjoying the comforts of home. She is known as Rose House’s cheerleader, always responding to our Facebook posts with supportive comments.


Meet Jenny

Jenny has a gift for communicating with children. She has worked at daycare centers since graduating high school, and was always adored by the preschool-aged kids that she provided care for. But who would take care of Jenny when her parents could no longer do so?

Rose House assured Jenny’s parents that she would receive the right amount of attention and learn the necessary skills to live independently.

“I certainly felt the Rose House was the best we could offer Jenny,” her mother Carol said. “It’s a safe home where she is around people who understand her and knows what she needs. Jenny is fully independent now and loves to clean her apartment and cook for herself.”

Carol asserted that Jenny has always liked performing tasks on her own, and Rose House gives her an extra boost of confidence. For example, Jenny worked at a Morristown daycare center for 21 years until it closed. After seven months of working with an employment agency and having no luck, she decided to search for a job herself on Through her own hard work and dedication, Jenny landed a career as a teacher assistant at a daycare center in Parsippany, where she has been ever since!

When Jenny is not mentoring kids, she loves to watch Hallmark movies and play video games. She is also involved in crafting with her mother and selling their items each year at a local church’s fundraiser — a tradition that Jenny’s grandmother started with Carol long ago and is still going strong.