Developing Abilities | Justice Resource Institute

Meet JRI's Service Navigator

Our Navigator personally answers questions and talks with you about resources that may be available in the community to meet your individualized needs. If you have any questions about our programs or services, or aren't sure what you need, contact our Service Navigator, Rachel Arruda, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.

Developing Abilities

female in wheel chair with a friend

JRI Developing Abilities collaborates with individuals who have developmental disabilities, their families, state agencies and advocates to design, develop, and implement community-based, consumer-responsive programs of the highest quality. Our programs offer an array of innovative, personalized service options that focus on discovering and expanding people’s abilities.
We provide residential, employment, day habilitation programs, and individual supports in a variety of settings. Some of our adult residents live in staffed homes or apartments, while others have the opportunity to receive residential supports in their own homes.

Employment services allow people with a variety of needs and job skills to grow through job training, group employment and competitive employment positions. Our day habilitation services help people improve their daily life through community-based treatment activities and access to specialized therapies and innovative supports.  
We approach each individual as a person capable of learning. We use a strength-based approach that includes individually designed and alternative approaches to developing and enhancing abilities. The individual is involved in the process of developing and learning the new skills and the behavioral repertoires necessary to successfully function as independently as possible at home, in work, and in the community.

These services might be right for you if
You or someone you know has a developmental disability.
You or someone you know needs supports either in their home or in a staffed home.
You or someone you know with a developmental disability wants to grow their skills through job training.

Shared Living

JRI's Shared Living Program carefully matches community caregivers with people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who want to live together in a private home environment.  

Full Circle ARTS

Our flagship social enterprise has artists' studios and retail shops in Natick and Westboro and an online Etsy store. Our artists and crafters create and sell marketable art work, jewelry, cards, accessories, and gifts, along with goods consigned by people with disabilities from throughout New England.

Berkshire Meadows

Berkshire Meadows provides residential and family supports to individuals with severe intellectual disabilities and complex medical needs in homes that provide the staffing support to enhance quality of life. We focus on providing opportunities to create skill-building and independence during activities of daily living and recreational activities, but always have the individual's well-being in mind.

Employment Supports

Employment First in Natick and MetroWest Works in Westboro and Northboro prepare you to find meaningful paid work. Our training helps you develop marketable skills, and provides practice in positive work attitudes and jobs in a variety of community tasks and settings. Our centers are small and community-oriented, with multiple daily opportunities to practice work skills in real settings.

Willow Tree Day Habilitation

Willow Tree in Natick and Northboro, Mass., provide active treatment through small-group community activities to help you gain new abilities and enhance rehabilitative outcomes. Our programs for transition-aged adults; people with ASD, people with chronic health conditions or mobility needs, people with visual impairments, and people with dementia are often successful where others have failed.

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JRI offers an array of short-term therapeutic programs that include our CBAT program and our Partial Hospitalization Program. Both have strong clinical and behavioral supports for adolescents, all genders, who are experiencing acute symptoms and emotional or psychiatric crisis. These services include both residential and day supports. We partner with families and youth in the programs to help…

JRI offers a range of programs designed to support youth struggling with intensive acute symptoms. These programs include long-term intensive residential treatment programs as well as short-term stability support (both a CBAT program as well as a Partial Hospital Day Program). JRI remains on the forefront of interventions designed to support youth with both acute symptoms as well as with…

JRI provides an array of innovative and evidence-based outpatient mental health services throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. All of JRI’s Behavioral Health Centers and Trauma Services use intervention methods aimed to meet the unique needs of children, adults, and families dealing with a range of emotional, psychological, and behavioral health challenges. Therapeutic…

JRI provides a wide variety of specialized in-home and community-based services throughout Massachusetts. Our services include intensive care coordination, in-home and outpatient therapies, mentoring services, in-home behavioral support, parent/caregiver support and education, mentoring support for Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered youth, and for commercially sexually exploited youth, as well as…

We specialize in helping students who have learning difficulties and developmental delays, coupled with histories of emotional and/or physical trauma. We strive to increase each student’s relational skills and self-confidence.


Student are closely monitored and supported by highly trained, qualified staff members twenty-four hours a day. Our…