Stories From Main Street: Staten Island, NY

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – On Staten Island, LifeStyles Radio has given a voice to some special and exceptional people.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports and has excerpts of the broadcasts

“Lifestyles is for the disabled. It’s a Day Hab program,” says Joel Richardson.

RELATED: More Stories from Main Street

On the grounds of the old Willowbrook State School, where Geraldo Rivera did a shocking expose in the 1970s, today, Richardson or “Soul Joel,” helps his mentally disabled clients record podcasts.

“You can see when they walk out of here that’s it’s not just having to live their dreams of being on the radio, it’s also about building them self-confidence. The guys are doing introductions where they’ll introduce ‘You know, this next song is by Led Zeppelin!’,” says Richardson. “We give them the ability to come up with DJ names.”

They spin tunes, interview one another, and do a quiz segment.

Richardson says, “Lifestyles for the Disabled teaches life skills. There’s a full service cafe, a wood shop, jewelry making operation, and pretty soon, they hope to have a live streaming internet radio station.”

LINK: Lifestyles for the Disabled

“They’ve listened to radio their whole lives and now they’re getting a part of it. It gives them self a worth,” says Richardson.

Lifestyles for the Disabled is located at 930 Willowbrook Road, Building 12-G, Staten Island, NY 10314.

More from Sean Adams
  • Veronica

    Soul Joel is extremely talents and innovated and cares about others. It shows with this wonderful and creative program. Its great to see all the things he does and the people he inspires and effects.

  • Ashley Willisch

    As a special education teacher, I love seeing programs available to enhance the lives of people with disbailities. The power of choice is something most of us take for granted and giving individuals a chance to learn about themselves while developing skills in fun and meaningful ways is priceless!!!

  • Adrien Gresnigt

    This is an amazing and an example of what can be done to enhance to quality of those whom are not as fortunate as we are.
    Cudos to those staff and organizers for this agency to bring it to the next level.
    Keep it up!!

  • Julie C

    Really enjoyed listening and loved the whole concept. What an inspiration.

  • Frank Gerardi

    So incredibly uplifting! Thank you guys for lending a hand in the community. What an absolutely beautiful way to make a difference.

  • Judi M

    Keep up the great work.

  • David Clinansmith

    It is creative. It shows what can be done what people learn to understand and try to help each other with their talents. Keep up the good work and I will keep on listening.

  • SOUL Joel

    Wow! Thanks so much for the continued support, comments, and kind words.
    Hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day.
    Enjoy the rest of your week,

    SOUL Joel

  • JM

    Valuable help and encouragement for the clients of the center.

  • George

    Love the programming…and admire all the people involved..great story…

  • Lana

    Way to go! :-)

  • Chris M.

    what a program…it’s great..keep up the good work..

  • J. Tryon

    Great job! Keep up the good work.

  • Paul Noriega

    Me likey, Better and better every time.

  • heather

    i think what he does is a fantastic thing for the community . more people should do things like this

  • Elaine Artman

    Good Job folks in helping out people with disabilities

  • Lauren C

    this is truely something special. its good to know we have great people out there that help others. keep up the wonderful work & God Bless :)

  • Christopher Williams

    Keep on keeping on!

  • Tony B.

    Lifestyles Radio plays great music, has just enough “talk” to be entertaining and just makes me feel good knowing the men and women making it all happen.. Keep it up and good luck with all future endeavors. Love CBS for doing such a story…thanks!

  • Terry Mahany

    My grandson is developmentally disabled but he is an inspiration everyday. I applaud the work being done by all these people and look forward to hearing more and more…

  • Adam Z.

    I think its really cool that you have this radio station. I met one of the DJs (Frankie) and I’ve met Soul Joel.. they are both great. I think Lifestyles Radio is a good program…

  • Elizabeth

    Love that Joel Richardson is so committed to the community. Joel is a great guy with great ideas, and a big heart. I wish him more success on his Lifestyles Radio Show.

  • Ilyssa

    This is a truly incredible program. KUDOS to Joel for his commitment to the community.

  • Elizabeth H.

    Lifestyles Radio is so much fun to listen too.. I am so impressed with all the participants and how courageous, talented and fun they are… Continue the great work!!

  • Janets Made WithLove

    Bravo, Soul Joe you extract the best from the best

  • Janets Made WithLove

    Loved this! Hats off to Soul Joe for extracting the best from the best!

  • Joel Richardson

    Keep the comments coming! We appreciate all the feed back.

    • Lori

      Absolutely wonderful!. Thank you!

  • Laura

    Great story! Good work Soul Joel!

  • Elaine Z.

    What more can I say! With all the bad news that hits the air, it is good to see what Lifestyles Radio is doing. They need all of our support. Thank you CBS radio-keep it up!

  • Scotty C.

    Great story! It is great what Lifestyles is doing for these kids! They are giving them an opportunity to shine.

  • Rich Shultis

    this is great. Keep up the good work

  • Bobby

    This is such an awesome program. You guys are doing not only great work, but influential work. I hope this catches on like wildfire and more programs are developed like this for the handicapped.

  • Scott Salinardi

    Excellent Job!! It is great to hear Lifestyles in action. Kudos to all of the program participants. Hats off to Joel and Burak as well. Keep it going.

  • AngV

    What a great opportunity for our most special citizens to be in the spotlight! Wishing everyone participating continued success…

  • Samantha S.

    This was an awesome article. It warms my heart that their are other individuals out there that continue the work I try to do everyday with my Disabled students. Keep up the good work in continuing to motivate this community. They deserve it :-D

  • Sabrina

    Wow would a great thing this program is doing for the children! Keep up the good work!!

  • sandra

    What an inspiring story….Great job guys!!!

  • Ciyo J

    Lifestyles is a wonderful program for the disabled! Great job guys, keep it up!

  • Patricia (Patch) Piccochi

    On Friday February 4 I had the honor of performing during the Lifestyles Cabaret Night. It truly was an honor to be so welcomed by the staff and patrons of this amazing cafe. As I performed and watched the Lifestyles staff serve a 5 course meal I was amazed at how they handled the 50+ patrons with more finesse and efficiency than any Zagat Top Rated restaurant I have ever seen!! This is truly an amazing program . I have lived here on Staten Island for 23 years and had no idea this existed. I was busy raising my children unaware of the complexities of raising “special” children and educating them to become productive members of society despite their disabilities. I praise all the people involved who give their time, love and expertise to make this program a success. By the way…the meal was delicious as well! I hope to return again soon not just to entertain but to be amazed once again. It did my heart good. I hope more people visit the Lifestyles Cafe and listen to the Lifestyles Radio.

  • Joel Richardson

    Thanks for all the kind comments everyone! Special shout out to Sean for taking time to visit Lifestyles. He spent his valuable time taking a tour and speaking with the staff and participants.

    CBS Radio really has great representation with Sean Adams!

  • Jessica Z.

    LifeStyles for the disabled programs are wonderful. It brings joy and encoruagment , to know what they are doing , all within a learning process..

  • Nancyann Toth

    Thank you CBS for bringing Lifestyles Radio to the general public. This is just a part of the wonderful programs at Lifestyles for the Disabled. Soul Joel does an outstanding job, he plays great music, and great interview segments which i especially enjoy. A special shout out to Burak for all his hard work too..

  • SOUL Joel

    Thanks everyone for their comments, continued support, and listening to our radio station! It’s only the beginning….

  • Barbara Sanchez

    Great article. I love listening to Lifestyles Radio at work. The music is great and I love the segments with the all the different DJs and Soul Joel. You guys are doing a great job. Keep it up!

  • Chrissie Zinnanti

    This was truly an inspiring story! I am so impressed with the program at Lifestyles for the Disabled and especially Lifestyles Radio. It brings so much joy as these creative and talented individuals share with us everyday. Keep up the good work! Thank you CBS and Sean Adams for bringing the program to the public…

  • Debby Romano

    what a great interview! lifestyles for the disabled is a wonderful program for all levels of disabilities and special needs – the radio/multi-media studio is an awesome addition to the program and the participants learn from it and enjoy it so much. thank you cbs radio for bringing attention to this much needed program for our disabled.

  • Burak Uzun

    This is great coverage of a great program.
    It’s an incredible creative and social outlet for the whole Lifestyles Community.

    The success we’ve had motivates me to work hard every day for the people involved.

    Thank you Sean for a beautifully produced piece of news.

  • Joe Richardson

    Awesome segment…. these guys are doing great thinks with the disabled

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