The Life Shop is an adult day program that takes a Warrior-centered approach to life in the community. The program is designed for Warriors older than age 22, focusing on building life skills, health and wellness, community integration and vocational skills.

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Kim Meares Surprenant
Life Shop Director

The Life Shop is Expanding!

Program History & Pilot Expansion Summary

The Life Shop is a day program that takes a Warrior-centered approach to building and supporting adult life in the community. The program is designed for Warriors older than age 22, offering a wide-range of activities focused on self-advocacy, building life skills, community integration, vocational skills, life experiences, learning and living healthy lifestyles, and all underscored with the goal of having fun and being challenged by their peers. The original Life Shop program was launched in a 2-day per week format in 2013. It is our goal to grow this program to a 5-day per week offering.

Our expansion plans have been tempered by time and space constraints, as well as a thoughtful approach to sustainability, but we are finally on the precipice of taking this program to the next step by adding a 3rd day! There are many factors that will unfold upon reflection of this first semester pilot run of the Wednesday program that will help us plan for the future expansion. 

Due to our current space constraints, we cannot enroll more Warriors in the Tuesday/Thursday offering. The new day will offer new opportunities for new Warriors, but the total enrollment per day will be similar. The engagement, innovation, creativity and focus on the Warrior that keys the current Life Shop, will remain constant in any expansion.

We are very excited to open our doors to more Warriors. Please read on for more details. Please also feel free to reach out to our two primary point people with any questions.


Mike Carmody

Title: Executive Director
Phone: 708.870.2376

Kim Meares Surprenant

Title: Life Shop Program Director
Phone: 773.899.6157

Pilot Registration Timeline

Registration Launch: December 1
Registration Deadline: December 11
Registration Confirmation to Parents: Decmber 21
Program Start Date: January 10

**Based on staffing capabilities, safety measures and operational constraints, registration is a request until we can confirm our capability to manage registered Warriors. 

Program Structure

Daily Structure

Registration options will include:

Morning Option (8:30AM -12:00PM)
Afternoon Option (11:00AM – 2:30PM)
Full Day Option (8:30AM – 2:30PM)

Session Structure

Sessions aim to align with a traditional semester schedule
Session Dates: January 10 – May 23
19 total program dates w/ one scheduled break: Wednesday, March 26

Pilot Program Cost

Registration Option 1: Morning Option (8:30AM -12:00PM) $45 per day
Registration Option 2: Afternoon Option (11:00PM – 2:30PM) $45 per day
Registration Option 3: Full Day Option (8:30AM – 2:30PM) $90 per day

Program Cost Details:

  • Lunch is included with all three registration options.
  • Rate is equivalent to $15 per hour and accounts for roughly 20% of total program operating costs.
  • This program is not currently recognized as a day program by Illinois’ DHS Bureau of Accreditation, Licensure, and Certification, thus we can not bill directly for home-based or CILA funded participants. Please contact Phil Carmody to discuss options.

Eligibility & Registration Requirement

Age: 22 or older
Residency: Must reside in Oak Park, Forest Park or River Forest

Organization Goals & My WP

Voice, Interdependence, Experience, Wellness, Social (VIEWS)

OK provides programs that are built on foundational beliefs that are connected to the acronym VIEWS:

Voice: We believe in the strength and power in the Voice of each Warrior
Interdependence: We believe in the Interdependent connection between each Warrior and their community
Experience: We believe in a fearless exploration of life’s Experiences unhinged by abilities
Wellness: We believe in the importance of living with Wellness in mind, body and spirit
Social: We believe in the power of friendships and know how important it is for Warriors to learn and laugh with their friends

My Warrior Plan (My WP)

The Life Shop revolves around a collaborative planning process that focuses on developing a plan for each Warrior. Driven by the Warrior this team also includes members from the OK Staff, the Warrior’s family and other individuals connected to the Warrior. This collaboration will result in the development of each Warrior’s MyWP.

Program Focus

Health & Wellness
Leadership skills
Life skills
Community Integration
Vocational skills
Technology skills

**For more information on the Life Shop program model, please click the button below to visit the Life Shop page.