Local center on a mission to raise awareness for the disabled community

Local center on a mission to raise awareness for the disabled community

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Local treasure, Magnolia Community Services has served people with developmental disabilities along the Gulf coast for nearly 80 years.

Providing safe and affordable housing, job placement and training support, day rehabilitation recreational and wellness services to over 250 men and women, the Magnolia community is happy to raise awareness and advocate for community inclusion.

Executive Director Jennifer Hebert says people with disabilities represent the world's largest minority group and it is her mission to ensure the men and women of Magnolia have their needs met and voices heard.

Part of the program includes a horticulture program. It allows people of all levels of ability to learn how to work in the green house and garden.

Later this year, a new outdoor musical garden is set to open. Musical instruments will be installed along a walking path that will provide a meditative space for the Magnolia community to enjoy.

As of last summer, a new wellness center was added to ensure all clients have access to fitness. Hebert believes the addition was essential for everyone who attends the program because not only is it important for clients to have daily work and living skills, they need to also be able to take care of their bodies.

Wellness Coach Tessa Brough holds fitness classes each weekday where clients perform modified versions of exercises like Russian twists, push-ups, burpees, and yoga.

"What we've seen in just these few short months is that people are gaining strength, gaining mobility, we're seeing blood pressures lower so they are reaping the same benefits that you or I would if we participated in a fitness program," said Jennifer Hebert.

Magnolia works to help people achieve their potential every day.

"They always have and always will be a part of our community and the community worldwide," said Jennifer Hebert.

To volunteer or learn more about Magnolia Community Services, contact Melissa Tyler at 504-731-1362.

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