Season 5

The Waters Family: Aging in Place

Marta Waters and her husband, Martin live in Garden City. They have a son who lives in the home (high school) as well as two of their nieces, (also high school). Marta and Martin have custody of their nieces.

Marta’s parents, Pedro and Carmen live with them too, as well as Martin’s mother. Currently Marta’s father, Pedro Rojas is receiving Medicaid Home Care. He requires 24 hour care as he has severe dementia and requires assistance with all of his ADLs. Marta is his daughter, and is quite dedicated to keeping him and her mom, Carmen Rojas, as well as her mother-in-law at home.

It is a very busy household with three teenagers and three elderly grandparents. The young people are particularly devoted to their grandparents. Marta has found that taking care of everyone is a full time job. She is also very involved with her parish and a prayer group which started with a few of her friends and has grown to over 200 members. The family feels very blessed to be able to care for the grandparents in their home.

The Godfrey Family: The New Homeless on Long Island

The three boys are self-taught musicians who first performed at a church function. Their performance totally surprised their parents and grandparents who until then, didn’t realize that the boys were so talented. Their specialty is jazz, and they play all of the greats like Brubeck, as well as their own compositions.A few years ago Esther (mom) and her sons Matthew, David & Jordan found themselves homeless due to a series of unfortunate events. While living in a local shelter the family found it difficult to maintain their daily practice schedule.

It was during this time that they won talent night at the Apollo Theatre in NYC.The shelter, which has very strict rules for those who live there, generously gave them one of the common rooms so that they could practice. Esther and her husband worked very hard to find good paying jobs so that they could move out and find a place of their own.

They are a “success story “for the shelter because they only lived there for three months before they were able to get back on their feet and move out.

The Funaro Family: Teaching Kids About Money

James is 8 years old and wore a tie for over 300 days to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. As time passed, he kept increasing his personal goal to raise money for Make a Wish. The foundation arranged for James’s donation to fund the wish of a little boy, who is the same age as James, to take a trip to Hawaii with his family.

James raised over $11,000.00 for “Make a Wish” and still continues to fund-raise for the foundation.

He got the idea from watching his mom giving money to different organizations when she would go shopping.

The Alpert Family: Young Adults with Special Needs…the Housing Crisis

Millie Alpert is the mom of twin sons with high functioning Autism who are now in their twenties. Millie and her husband have been strong advocates for Brian and Chris both educationally and socially.Although the boys can function on their own, with some guidance, Millie and her husband are worried about the future and what will happen to the boys when they are not around to take care of them. Both of the boys live at home right now and have part time jobs when they can find work.Their sister (Nina) is married and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband. Millie doesn’t want her daughter to have to deal with this issue.

Millie will talk about her struggle to find appropriate housing for the boys. Children such as Brian and Chris don’t fit into the “typical” group home situation on LI, or the day-hab programs because they are so high functioning. This  population simply falls through the cracks .

Millie would like to know that there is a suitable place for the boys before she and her husband are no longer capable to care for them.

Special Update-Living with a Disability

A special family update on past Family Comes First guests Michael Amoruso, Mark Haubner and Gary Carpenter, who are all living with a disability.


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