Little Flower, Big Care

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Queens, NY

By Tim Harfmann

Rosa Caraballo has a developmental disability, but she feels independent. “I wash the dishes. I clean my room. I do the chores,” said Caraballo.

Caraballo has her own room and lives with three roommates. They, too, have disabilities. Caraballo moved into a Bayside, Queens residence in June known as the Rose Home. Run by Little Flower Children and Family Services, it’s one of 10 homes throughout the five boroughs and Long Island. Nearly 80 people with developmental disabilities receive 24-hour care. “I like the people from here. They’re sweet and really nice to me,” said Caraballo.

Though Little Flower receives government funding, they need support of donors. “Anything extra we want to do: innovative, special, new, special treat, new therapy; we’re paying for on our own. And that’s throughout the generous, long term donations from funders,” said Corinne Hammons. She’s the C.E.O. of Little Flower.

Tanisha Washington oversees the developmental programs so residents can live their lives like everyone else. “They’re out in the community. Many of them work in the community and attend day programs. They go to basketball, baseball. They’re busy,” said Washington. “We color. We watch TV. We do everything there, like read, write, and arts and crafts,” said Caraballo.

Little Flower carries on the work of Monsignor Bernard Quinn — a Brooklyn priest on the road to sainthood. He founded Saint Peter Claver Church, the first African American church in the Diocese of Brooklyn. He was renowned for establishing hospitals and orphanages. “His idea was to take kids who were underprivileged and show them the countryside,” said Hammons. Monsignor Quinn also had a great devotion to Saint Therese of Lisieux — known as “the little flower.”

Through her developmental programs, Caraballo looks to whip up her favorite dish of chicken, rice, and beans. For now, she relies on her caregivers. “But I can try one day,” said Caraballo.

You can make a difference this holiday season by donating to Little Flower. Just call 631-929-6200 or go to and click on donate now.