Our Founding Director, Jenny Kaplan Schreiber, grew up in MetroWest with her parents and two brothers. The eldest, Jeff, drowned just shy of his 18th birthday. Her family’s story of loss, healing, integration and growth propelled Jenny into the field of Social Work and Bereavement Services.
After many years at FRIENDS WAY, a respected, comprehensive children’s bereavement center in Rhode Island that she also founded, Jenny was thrilled for the opportunity to offer similar support for the grieving children, teens and families in the MetroWest community.
Her work started with a satellite support group run by The Children’s Room, which was eventually adopted by Manitou Experience, a weeklong overnight camp for grieving boys, as a year-round extension of the program.
While Manitou Experience, a program of Manitou Camps Foundation (link to “Resources” page with info), provides a weeklong summer camp opportunity in Maine and California, the mission of Jeff’s Place grew in a different, more needed, direction. This prompted Jeff’s Place to become an independent 501(c)(3) organization.
Jeff’s Place opened in 2009 with 6 families and 9 children and moved to Framingham, MA in 2012. Jeff’s Place has now served over 500 individuals from 38 cities and towns in and around MetroWest through our free support groups, individual therapy, educational trainings and crisis intervention. Our families come from a wide diversity of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds; grief and loss does not discriminate. One-third of our families attend Jeff’s Place due to a death by cancer. The majority of families we serve are single-parent households.