2007: Residential Services

“Cultivating Community: Neighborhood Dynamics in Communities with Group Homes for the Developmentally Disabled”

for New England Residential Services, Inc.

by Talia Barrett, Jeff Kessner, Grace Lesser, Jean Pockrus, and Darrah Sipe


New England Residential Services (NERS) runs 11 group homes for the developmentally disabled across central Connecticut. The agency asked five students in Wesleyan University’s Community Research Seminar to investigate how the agency can most effectively neutralize opposition to group homes as they expand into new communities. They also wanted to learn how to improve relations in neighborhoods where existing group homes are located. The Wesleyan research team conducted interviews with neighbors and staff members of six group homes to gather relevant information. Once all of the interviews were completed, the researchers looked over the interviews and found common themes that emerged throughout the communities.