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Support on the Path to Independence

Established in 2019, the DePaul Reintegration Support Team (DRST) is a multidisciplinary team that supports DePaul’s mental health residential programs in Erie County. The DRST assists residents in their recovery journey, helping them acclimate to new living situations and obtain necessary living skills that empower them to achieve the highest level of independence possible.

Staff work with residents on goals such as returning to work, volunteering, attending school, maintaining a clean apartment, meal planning and preparation, using public transportation or other community transportation services, quitting smoking and increasing social skills.

The DRST operates a store at Seneca Square in Buffalo run by resident volunteers. There are plans to expand the store to the other DePaul Single Room Occupancy (SRO) programs this year. The store serves to address multiple needs including providing the residents with mobility issues access to affordable goods such as household supplies, healthy snacks and beverages, and leisure supplies. Residents fill roles such as stocker and cashier, as well as participate in monthly business meetings, allowing them to gain valuable work skills, social skills, and feel invested in their community.

Scott Bitterman of Seneca Square says the store has allowed him to feel productive for a worthy cause.

“It’s helped me open up as an individual,” he said. “It’s improving my interpersonal communication skills.”

The Team also provides various groups at the Erie County SRO programs Monday through Thursday.


Group topics are decided collaboratively based on resident surveys/feedback as well as residential staff. Some topics discussed have included cooking and nutrition, self-care, social skills, wellness tools, arts and crafts and overcoming obstacles.

“Groups have given me a lot of options to do something with my day and so much optimism,” said Taylor Wolfe of Seneca Square. “I love going to groups. It makes me feel good when I do.”

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