Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health New Jersey

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Allen's Journey with Devereux

“Allen is deservedly proud of his many accomplishments and his independence, yet realizes his remarkable quality of life would not be possible without the selfless dedication and commitment of the Devereux staff .”


Allen grew up in New Jersey in the 1950s when the world was a much different place for children with special needs. He always had a difficult time at his public elementary school and, in the third grade, he was teased and bullied every day by the other children. Allen’s parents tried desperately to get the right help for him. The school administrators said they were concerned, but many of the teachers were not kind to Allen and did not want to be bothered with him in their classrooms. After much searching, Allen’s parents finally found Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, where he has lived for 65 years.

Allen’s sister, Kitty, recently shared some memories about her beloved brother and his home, as Devereux has been a part of their family for almost as long as she can remember. Kitty often reflects on the way the Devereux staff has supervised, taught, and nurtured her brother with tremendous patience and kindness.

From the first day, life at Devereux was so different from the miserable years Allen had spent in his home school district. He began at Devereux in the fourth grade and has fond memories of his school years, laughing, as he describes his participation in some of the students’ boyish pranks. Kitty noted their family really missed Allen living with them, but it was as if he were away at boarding school, as he still came home for long visits and for every holiday. Allen has always loved traveling anywhere by train. In those early days at Devereux, every student and staff would board a train and travel up the coast to spend time at Devereux’s summer camp on Lake Embden in Maine.

Please consider making a gift to Devereux to help individuals like Allen access high quality programs and services that inspire hope, ensure well-being, and promote meaningful life choices.  

In his early twenties, Allen lived in a community home where the Devereux staff taught him essential life skills such as doing his laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. He was eventually able to move into his own apartment and, with the support of the dedicated Devereux staff, has been able to live independently for all these years. Whenever Kitty visits Allen, she enjoys seeing his warm and cheerful apartment with his delightful collection of Snoopy books and memorabilia. His family was concerned when Allen transitioned to living on his own, but thankfully, he has done well living by himself. He keeps up his routine of shopping at his local grocery, where his frugality has earned him the family title of “Coupon King.” Allen takes daily walks in his neighborhood, laughs at his favorite television shows and eagerly pursues his favorite hobby of stamp collecting.

Allen has been collecting stamps since he was a young boy, when he inherited his grandmother’s collection, and is now the proud owner of an extensive collection of over 35,000 stamps. Allen’s particular expertise includes unique type of stamp called First Day of Issue Cover. It is impossible to overestimate how important stamp collecting has been as it has given Allen a lifetime hobby and provided him with hours of an enjoyable stress-free activity. Allen’s face really lights up when he talks about taking the local train into the city to visit an old-fashioned Stamp and Coins store, where he would spend many happy hours in consultation with the owner, adding to his collection. Allen wants to pass the collection on to the next generation of his family, in hopes that they will want to carry on this unique tradition.


Allen is such an important part of his family’s life and still spends every holiday with them. Thanks to all the tremendous support from Devereux, Allen remains the same sweet, kind, considerate older brother with a big smile and a constant twinkle in his eye. Kitty gladly talks about the many good things that Devereux has done for her brother and how happy he has been. Allen is deservedly proud of his many accomplishments and his independence, yet realizes his remarkable quality of life would not be possible without the selfless dedication and commitment of the Devereux staff. Allen is extremely grateful for their commitment to him: “I have had a very good life at Devereux. Devereux is a wonderful place and has helped me to be where I am today.”

Thank you for helping Devereux to create some certainty in this uncertain world by supporting our mission to unlock and nurture human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. Please make your gift today by clicking here.

PS: Your gift to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health unlocks human potential and is needed now. You have the power to help us nurture adults like Allen so that they may be the best they can be.

With gratitude,


Stephen Bruce, M.Ed., BCBA
Operating Vice President