Arc Spotlight: Carmella and Donna-Marie

"The Arc Spotlight: Carmella and Donna-Marie" with a photo of two women with their arms over each other's shoulders. The Arc of Essex County logo is visible in the bottom right corner.

Carmella and Donna-Marie are both longtime participants in The Arc of Essex County’s SYA Day Program in Nutley. They also both became members of The Arc’s residential program in 2023, with Carmella joining the Ashwood group home in Livingston and Donna-Marie joining the Belleville group home. For both of them, the transition into their new homes has gone wonderfully.

“I am so happy where I am,” Carmella says, sharing stories about helping to set the table and make dinner with her friends and the staff. She raves about her new room as well. “I am so happy in my own room. My pictures and everything are there. I have a new bed and a new chair. My family is so proud.”

Donna-Marie says she loves the flowers in her new room, and enjoys helping the staff with the laundry at the house. “I have lots of friends here,” she says, adding that she loves the staff. She also loves when her sister visits her. “I feel very happy.”

When they see each other at SYA, Carmella and Donna-Marie are quick to hug one another. “It’s fun to be with our friends here,” Carmella says. Whether at The Arc’s day programs or in a group home residence, Arc consumers are in good hands, surrounded by caring staff and loving friends.

The Arc of Essex County is proud to tell the story of Carmella and Donna and other stories of successful and smooth transitions into our group-living environments. For additional information about our residential services, contact The Arc’s Senior Director of Residential Services Rebecca Lorusso via email at or by calling (973) 535-1181 ext. 1270.