Our garden is planted and things are coming along. Some of us were out today seeing how things were going and enjoying some fresh air (until we went in for air conditioning).
On April 26, a big crew of employees from Exelon volunteered their time at the new house on Illinois Street. They tore out the bathrooms, walls, floor covering, drop ceiling, capped all the electric, tire out plumbing, landscaped and more. We were shocked when we realized they had done so much demolition inside yet somehow left it cleaner than they found it. Exelon also donated plants, mulch, and a roll off dumpster.
The house is a donation from Wells Fargo, along with $7,500 towards renovation. The Dunham Fund donated $20,000 as well. Established by John C. Dunham in 1996, funded in 2007 in accordance with the provisions of Mr. Dunham’s trust and nurtured during the intervening years by Mr. Dunham and a board of personally appointed advisors, the Dunham Fund honors Mr. Dunham’s life and philanthropy through grants to organizations that have the vision and programs to help fulfill Mr. Dunham’s dream of “making the world a more comfortable, safer place for mankind to live and prosper.”
Senator Rezin sent by a certificate of the IL Senate Recognition of SU’s 50th Anniversary. Thank you for thinking of us in the midst of a very busy session, Senator!
Our party turned out great–450 people in attendance. People said they really enjoyed it and were virtually all surprised to see just how many different things go on at SU.
SU could never have made it 50 years without the support of all of our friends and the Streator Community. Thank you all. Here’s to the next 50!!
Once again, we head into state budget season. Governor Rauner’s Budget Address is all over the news. What would his proposed budget mean for SU? Somewhat surprisingly, in a kind-of-a-good way, our rates for day program and residential were not cut. The chart below demonstrates that not being cut is not all it’s cracked up to be after over a decade, especially when the Workshop Grant was completely eliminated as well. The people we serve will be negatively impacted by the Medicaid cuts, and for those who live in our homes, SU will have to make up the difference, so that is a cut of a sort.
What happens next? The House and Senate will work on developing their own budgets. Given that we have a new Governor of a different party, it’s hard to predict how things are going to progress or end up. We need to make it through this not just with “no cuts” but with an increase to raise the wages of our direct care staff and cover the cost of things getting more expensive. We also want to make certain that if there are any increases in minimum wage, we are given increased funding to deal with that.
We’re not unrealistic about Illinois’ finances, but we are also providing critical services. We will see how things go.
Another great article in The Times, this one on DSP Recognition Week. One additional thing to note about Ginger–Mandy commented that Ginger enjoys her job so much that sometimes she starts dancing while she’s working!
A great article in the Times on Saturday on our Assistant Residential Director Lisa Renner. We are so lucky to have her here at SU.
Here’s another easy way to help SU: if you’re an eligible Thrivent Financial member and have Choice Dollars® available to direct, please keep us in mind. For more info click here.
There’s a great article on it in the Times today. We’re really excited. Even so, I don’t think we are excited as Jimmy pulling the first harvest of the year out of the garden at Knox Estates: