The Star Ledger Covers Recent Registry Trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond

April 22nd, 2016

Originally printed in The Star Ledger, April 27, 2016

Tupperware, plates, bowls, a clock, a telephone, a radio, and a television.

Those were the big items on Caryn Bushko's shopping list Tuesday. She was one of four women who headed with The Arc of Essex County Tuesday afternoon to buy the items that will furnish their new group home in Roseland.

"I'm feeling pretty good (about it)," Bushko said of her impending move. What she's seen of the new home, the outside, looks "nice," she said.

The house is the 26th built and staffed by the Arc, a nonprofit agency that provides housing and other services to about 1,500 developmentally disabled adults throughout the county. The group purchased the Roseland home for $475,000 last June, and has spent about $150,000 in renovations so far to make it properly equipped to house the women who will be living there.

When the home's build out is completed in early June, it will house four women, three of whom are sisters, and a full time staff to facilitate their needs.

"Roseland is one town that we weren't in residentially, so we were really looking for an opportunity there," said Rebecca Lorusso, Director of Residential Services.

The four women who will live in the house - sisters Caryn, Christy, and Jennifer Bushko, ages 43, 30, and 33 respectively, and 55-year-old Dale Crews - had never before been shopping for their very own home goods.

The Busko sisters were living in a temporary crisis Arc home in Newark, and Crews was living in an Arc group home in Nutley. The Roseland home will incorporate additional features that address Crews's future mobility challenges, an Arc spokesman said.

So, Tuesday, the four picked out new things at the Bed, Bath & Beyond in East Hanover. The shopping trip, Lorusso said, was an opportunity for the women, and for the community.

"They are going to be living in the home, so they are making some of those important choices about what to put in it," she said of the residents.

"It also helps to spread awareness and foster acceptance."

The Arc asks locals to purchase more household items on the women's online registry so they can further fill out their new home. The Buskos are already a family, Lorusso said. By filling the home with the items they choose, they can truly enjoy it as such, she said.

"That's the really special thing about this house," she said. "They get to live here as a family."

Jennifer Bushko registers for bathroom linens as her sister Caryn looks on.