Friendsfirst began in 2009 as a partnership between families who approached us with the need for more service options for their sons and daughters with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since then, Friendsfirst has become a popular program where people can develop new friendships, learn new skills, talk about current events, and explore the creative arts.

Friendsfirst meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 am-12:30 pm at Second Presbyterian Church in downtown Bloomington. The program is open to adults with disabilities who can care for their own needs while at the program.

This is such a unique opportunity that we are currently at capacity! Please contact us at 309-451-8888 to be added to our waitlist.

Friendsfirst will:

  • Meet the needs of families in the community who are receiving limited supports
  • Provide the opportunity for people to meet new friends
  • Give people the opportunity to learn new skills, share talents, and practice skills needed for greater independence
  • Offer a unique experience every session

Activities include gardening, arts and crafts, special speakers, music, and lessons about fun topics like states, wacky holidays, animals, etc.

A typical day at Friendsfirst starts with daily chatter. This is when our participants share what they did over the weekend or something fun they have planned. The rest of our day is surrounded by crafts, activities, and games corresponding with our theme for the day.

Participants are required to pay a small program fee of $7.50 for each session they attend.

Special Thanks:

Special thanks to our friends at Second Presbyterian Church for donating the space and your ongoing support of Friendsfirst.

Thanks to our community partners: Music Therapy Department at ISU and Music Education Department at IWU.

If you would like more information about FriendsFirst, please fill out the form below. 

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