Choices Spring 2016
Community Options believes in the dignity of every person, and in the freedom of all people to experience the highest degree of self-determination. Embracing this philosophy, Community Options provides housing, support services and advocacy assistance to help empower people with disabilities.
Mothers’ Day is Sunday, May 8
Vaseful Flowers and Gifts is a charming flower shop that offers high quality floral services and delivery to anywhere in the world.We are committed to serving our customers with the finest floral arrangements and gifts, backed by our 24-hour guarantee. Vaseful is owned and operated by Community Options Enterprises, Inc., a non profit organization that supports people with disabilities.
Advancing in Arizona
Working with advocates and professionals within his department, Director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Tim Jeffries has facilitated and approved Community Options to develop and provide innovative supports to Arizonians with significant disabilities. Community Options has now installed management staff and an office
“Director Jeffries has been a blessing to persons with disabilities in Arizona and to Community Options,” said Robert Stack, President and CEO of Community Options.
This past month, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey officially finalized his administration’s commitment to people with disabilities in a signed proclamation stating that people with disabilities, “should be recognized for striving towards greater levels of inclusion and independence in the ongoing pursuit to achieve the highest levels of active citizenship in the State of Arizona.”
Community Options Tucson operates respite and attendant care and was just awarded approval to provide vocational supports with Rehabilitative Services Administration to provide job development and job coaching in Pima, Pinal, Cochise, Graham and
“We thank God everyday for the support we receive from not only governmental leadership, but foundations and the community in general,” said Stack.
Director Jefferies has not only proven to be a friend to people with disabilities, but an advocate as well.
“He has relentlessly pushed for paradigmatic shifts from business as usual to real business,” said Wendy Mahan, Director of Community Options Arizona.
The board of Community Options is clamoring to develop a proven, self-sustaining entrepreneurial business in Tucson similar to its operations in Princeton, NJ, known as the Daily Plan It (DPI). The DPI allows people with significant disabilities to make minimum wage while providing an infrastructure to local vendors in need of office supports with a one-time capital investment.
Community Options plans to expand support services in areas identified by state government officials. Arizona has been identified as a significant area of need by the strategic planning committees of Community Options. View more in our press release here.
Record Numbers for Cupid’s Chase 5K in 2016!
Thanks to the 4,800+ runners, walkers and rollers who came out this past February for Cupid’s Chase 5K, Community Options raised over $260,000. These funds will go back into the local programs and services so that Community Options can continue to serve individuals with disabilities. Without Cupid’s Chase’s dedicated donors and participants, Community Options would not be able to continue to grow and touch even more lives positively.
Despite the cold weather that affected more than half of the Cupid’s Chase races, people came out ready to chase Cupid to the finish line. Dallas saw a record breaking amount of runners this year, a total of 340 participants! “Those who came to the event were able to see the footprint of Community Options as an organization and more importantly, they were able to learn about Community Options’ mission and desire to support individuals with intellectual disabilities in the community,” Executive Director Jeni Greene said.
Save The Date
We’ve set the date for Cupid’s Chase 5K 2017! Mark your calendars for February 11, 2017. Find a race location near you by visiting www.cupidschase.org
Get Involved Today!
Don’t wait till next February to help Community Options. Join your local Cupid’s Chase Race Committee and start planning next year’s Cupid’s Chase today! Contact your local Community Options’ office for more information.
A list of our office locations can be found at www.comop.org/about-us/our-offices/
Community Options Expands in Pennsylvania to Serve Individuals with Disabilities
Butler County, PA
Butler County, PA is not only the birthplace of the Jeep, it is also the location of Community Options’ two newest homes. The first home is nestled in a quiet neighborhood on a sprawling wooded lot. The first resident, a young man who was eager to become an adult with his own home, moved in on January 11. His father, although supportive, was anxious about his son’s move. Finding a home in Butler where father and son could continue their close relationship was non-negotiable for these two. COI was able to make that happen. His housemate moved in soon thereafter in February. The two young men are already conceiving plans for a garden in the expansive backyard, eager for spring to arrive.
Only a short drive away is the second new home, a large brick ranch with vaulted ceilings, ample windows and an open floor plan. The home was perfect for two ladies who need an accessible environment. On February 29th, the first resident moved into the home and exclaimed, “God himself couldn’t wipe this smile off my face!” She is excited to welcome her housemate sometime in April.
Tim Hawk, Program Specialist at Community Options, and his enthusiastic team of direct support staff seamlessly coordinated all services from decorating the homes to training staff. Community Options is dedicated to improving services in Butler County, a county which previously lacked providers who were able to support individuals with intellectual disabilities. Now, individuals and their families can be close to one another while receiving the support they need.
On December 1, 2015, a house located in the Pocono region opened for two gentlemen who are non-verbal and have autism. This customized home was designed so the people who live there would succeed, grow and thrive. Painted with soothing, soft colors, the home promotes relaxation, while the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) serves as another form of communication for the individuals to express their wants and needs.
This success led to the opening of another home in the Poconos. This 3500 square-foot home sits on several acres of land and has four bedrooms and three full baths. The home will be at full capacity by the end of April.
Corpus Christi Native Appointed as New Executive Director
We are very excited to announce the appointment of Ernest De La Garza as the Executive Director in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ernest earned a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Administration from Texas State University and has spent his career working in multiple nursing homes. Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Ernest is married with two children.
Making Accessible Transportation a Reality
In a perfect world each of us would have the means to go where we want, when we want, in a safe, comfortable and convenient manner. But for so many citizens with disabilities even a quick trip to the neighborhood grocery store presents complications. The lack of accessible on-demand transportation options in cities across the country restrict and restrain those with disabilities from living, working and belonging in their communities. But through an ongoing collaboration with Uber Technologies, Community Options is striving to change that.
Through the generous support of the Kessler Foundation, Community Options launched a study to determine how organizations like ours could contribute our accessible vehicles to the Uber network. The focus of this Pittsburgh-based Autobility Project team is to explore avenues that will result in reliable and affordable transportation, everywhere for everyone at the push of a button. The vision gained almost immediate traction. Marc Cherna, Director of Allegheny County Human Services and a key advisor to the Autobility Strategy Team, contributed the services of his Data and Special Projects, which sparked widespread interest in this important initiative. Nancy Thaler, Deputy Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Office of Developmental Programs, is offering insight and direction to help untangle potential Medicaid regulatory barriers. As interest has blossomed, additional collaborators have connected with the initiative, including regional transportation providers, Carnegie Mellon research professors, United Way project managers, and several regional Human Services organizations.
All people should be able to go where they want, when they want in a safe, affordable and convenient manner. This is a vision that is within reach. And through the efforts of the Community Options Autobility Team and its collaboration with Uber technologies, this vision could be realized not just in Pittsburgh, but in every community across the world. View more in our press release here.