Founder Father John Wehrlen with Billy Ogle, one of the first residents in the DPD.
The Department for Persons with Disabilities
came into being through the provential grace of God and a young priest, Father John Wehrlen, who had a heart for disabilites. His mission to povide a life with dignity and respect for people with developmentmental and intelletual disabilites began with a small program for "handicapped children' in 1965 and continued to thrive and expand through the years. Today the DPD operates 9 group homes and 2 supervised apartments throughout Morris, Sussex, and Passaic Counties and the Gruenert Center, a vocational day program for 50 men and women in Lake Hopatcong, NJ.
The Department for Persons with Disabilities:
- Began serving adults with disabilities over 45 years ago
- Operates the longest running group home in the state of New Jersey, the Murray House in Clifton.
- Is a Catholic Charities Agency in the Diocese of Paterson, NJ. DPD is one of the largest Catholic Charities Agencies providing care for adults with developmental disabilities in the United States.
- Provides care for over 100 adults with diverse disabilities, races, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs.
- Is the only provider agency for adults with disabilities in the state of New Jersey internationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).
- Empowers residents to be active and involved in their communities.
- Provides spiritual enrichment programs, including the Catholic Adult Religious Education (C.A.R.E) program.
- Has a dedicated network of over 100 volunteers.
- Provides pastoral care for former residents who now reside in nursing homes.
- Provides information and referrals for families of adults with developmental disabilities living in the community. For assistance contact: