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New East Side center offers support to people with developmental disabilities

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Chris Caya/WBFO News
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Basic life skills that many take for granted can often be challenging for people with developmental disabilities.

Many rely on support programs for help. One organization that provides that assistance, The Arc Erie County New York, cut the ribbon on their newest location on Buffalo's East Side Thursday.

CEO William McHugh says the center helps prepare young adults, often living in group homes, to live on their own and integrate into the community.

"People learn how to have a bank account. They learn how to write a check. They learn how to make a bed, clean a house, make food. We're trying to help people learn how to live independent lives," McHugh said.

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Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

"It helps the people we serve realize that they're an integral part of the community and that they have a lot of value."

The facility on Bailey Avenue near Amherst Street is located in a former bank office. McHugh says it space has been updated and modernized and is easily accessible by public transportation.

Along with life skills training, The Arc also provides afterschool programs for children in special education classes, and support for young parents.

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Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

The new enrichment center is the fourth site The Arc has opened in Erie County this year. The organization says it provides support to more than 2,400 hundreds adults, children and families each year.