Breaking Barriers for those with special needs

For more information on the programs listed below, please visit the Chaldean Community Foundation office, or contact us at (586) 722-7253.

Behavioral Health

Supplies much-needed mental health referral services to refugees and others in Southeast Michigan. One of the core initiatives of this program is Breaking Barriers, which provides assistance and advocacy to individuals with special needs and respite to caregivers.


  • Facilitating group recreation events
  • Mediation with Michigan state agencies for those with special needs
  • Referrals to other service providers
  • Our Breaking Barriers Academy provides respite for caregivers.
  • B.E.A.M. Project – Braille, English as a Second Language, Acculturation and Mobility: helps better equip those with visual impairments to live independent lives
  • H.E.A.L. Project – Hard of Hearing, English as a Second Language, American Sign Language, and Life Skills: helps better equip those with hearing impairments to live independent lives


Acculturating to life in the United States is a daunting task for many refugees and low-income immigrants. It’s even harder for those that are blind and have visual impairments. The CCF encountered many such individuals who were interested in working and continuing their education but were in need of assistance with daily tasks. As a result, the CCF launched its Braille ESL Acculturation Mobility (BEAM) Project. BEAM is a collaboration among the CCF, Bureau of Services for Blind Persons and the Macomb Literacy Partners. It’s an ESL program where participants learn to speak English and read through braille. The curriculum includes technology-based lessons for iPhone, IPad, and computers. Classes are taught on a group and individual basis.


The Hard of Hearing, ESL, American Sign Language, Life Skills (H.E.A.L) Project was created to help better equip members of the community that are deaf and have hearing impairments to live independent lives. In this class, students learn English and American Sign Language. The goal for the student is to become literate. H.E.A.L Bible Study will be held on the second and fourth Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. A full schedule will be finalized at the first day of class. ASL Interpretation Masses are held at St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church on the second Sunday of every month at 10:30 A.M.

Fitness and Nutrition Project

The Fitness and Nutrition Project is a health and wellness fitness program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers. The goals of this program are to promote lifelong wellness and good health by participating in nutrition and physical activity classes as a family. These family groups attend once weekly inclusive of a 45-minute nutrition class followed by a 45-minute fitness class. Additionally, two days out of the week, there will be open gym “walking days” to encourage fitness outside of the home. Clients and caregivers are taught how to choose wholesome foods and how to make simple healthy dishes. Maintaining good health, strength, and function over time can help a person maximize independence and self-determination.
Individuals with disabilities
4,016 Individuals with disabilities served
Individuals with disabilities
4,321 Hours of respite, counseling & advocacy services provided