by Amy Moellering / East Bay Times.

Adam Pinney lives in Pleasanton, takes the bus to work and recently completed a two-year film school program. His brother Matt works at Vocational Flight Resources and takes daily walks for exercise in his neighborhood. Perhaps this sounds rather unremarkable, but considering that both Pinneys were born with Down syndrome, it’s not.

Thanks to individuals and organizations that have believed in them, their disabilities have not prevented them from independently living and working to the full extent of their capabilities.

The Pinneys live in a REACH home. This nonprofit organization maintains nine homes in the Tri-Valley, serving 26 people with disabilities in a uniquely supportive landlord-tenant relationship. According to Sandi Soliday of the Alameda County Public Health Department, 11,000 individuals with disabilities are served by the East Bay Regional Center, and this number is on the rise.

“The need for independent housing is increasing,” said REACH Chairwoman Kay King, reporting that the REACH waitlist hovers between 20 to 30 tenant hopefuls. “This is why, coinciding with our 25th anniversary, we are raising funds and looking for homes to purchase.”

To commemorate the anniversary, REACH contacted Future Films, an organization that trains developmentally disabled adults for careers in the film industry. Together they produced a 6-minute video that explains REACH’s impact on the community. Adam Pinney worked on the film, along with Chris Updike, another REACH tenant.

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