To the editor:

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May 18, 2020 |

Crisis does not build character, it reveals it. Managing one of the largest state-funded nonprofits supporting persons with disabilities in New Jersey is more than a challenge. Our essential and brave staff go to work every day supporting our most vulnerable citizens.

Out of the 4,500 persons with disabilities we support nationwide, we have lost three souls with significant disabilities on ventilators, all of them in New Jersey. Our workforce, paid less than $15 per hour, came to each small home. We had less than one-tenth of them contract the virus.

They were given the equipment necessary to do their job, but retention was becoming an issue.
We asked Gov. Phil Murphy for a temporary increase of their wages to ensure that they came to work under these hazardous conditions. We explained to him the horrific potential ramifications of what could happen in our small homes unnoticeably sprinkled throughout the state.

Governor Murphy listened.

Our nonprofit operates in nine other states. This action separated his leadership from nine other governors. He knows how to manage our state. This crisis did not build his character, it revealed it.
On behalf of our board, staff and those New Jerseyans with intellectual and developmental disabilities, thank you Governor Murphy.

Robert Stack
President and CEO
Community Options Inc.