Serving Individuals with Disabilities since 1965
FY14 Annual Report
Our annual report is now available--just click on the "Documents and Reports" link at the right.  As  you'll see on the first page, please plan to come to SU's 50th Anniversary Party between 4-7 pm on Thursday, May 7, 2015!!!!!
DSP Article
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!
Renner Article
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.  
Title VI Notices
On the "Documents and Reports" page we have put up federally required notices for consumers who utilize our transportation services.
On the Radio
Go here to listen to an interview on WSPL.  Sherri Stephens and Ellie Eccleston talk about their work with the people we serve!
We updated the signage on the side of our vans.  We're hoping to generate more paper and hard drive shredding jobs for us.  We really like how it turned out.
Survey Says…
DHS dropped by unannounced for their annual survey of our Developmental Training Program today.  They look at many things:  clinical records, personnel records, safety and human rights committees, policies, site walk-through, staff and consumer interviews, etc.  We got a perfect 100% score this year!!!  Kudos to the SU Team for their dedication and hard work.
Closure Update
Survey analysis from parents/guardians of persons who moved out of the state institution in Jacksonville.  It shows that tremendous fear at the outset of the process led to satisfaction with the outcome. JDC Data Brief
Ranking the States Once Again
Illinois is once again near the bottom of the annual Case for Inclusion Rankings.  Disability Scoop has a short article.  You can get the full report and a lot of state-by-state detail at the main site.  Illinois can do better in supporting people with developmental disabilities!!!
Budget season begins
OK, sort of.  Governor Quinn's Budget Address won't come until late March, but articles have begun.  Much will depend on whether the temporary tax increase, set to expire at the end of this year, is extended or not.  It seems doubtful we'll find out until the lame duck session following the November elections.  So, we'll probably end up with a budget of which we can be confident for only the f...

SU Part of Kroger Community Rewards Program

Posted By: jmallaney on March 26, 2015 in Community - Comments: No Comments »

You can support SU by registering your Kroger Card here.  Much like Amazon Smile, small donations of the money you spend at Kroger will go to SU.  Easy as pie, whether you purchase the ingredients, a deli pie or frozen.

Thrivent Choice Dollars

Posted By: jmallaney on February 10, 2015 in Community - Comments: No Comments »

We got our first donation – $56 – through the Thrivent Chioce Program.  If you are a member, please check out the program and see an easy way to support SU.

Celebrity Bartending

Posted By: jmallaney on February 2, 2015 in Boxes, Events - Comments: No Comments »

It’ll be a fun evening!

HardScrabble Flyer

New Year

Posted By: jmallaney on January 6, 2015 in Community, Illinois - Comments: No Comments »

The holiday season is over and here comes the new year.  It will be an interesting one with a new governor and Illinois’ budgetary challenges.  We don’t have a sense of what will happen yet…could be funding cuts, more payment delays, new revenue for the state, etc.  We’re keeping an ear out so we can plan as best we can and working on educating our new governor and the new representatives and senators on the importance of what we do.

Work slows down a little this time of year as businesses with whom we contract have days off and employees taking time off and needing product in their own warehouse for inventory.  We’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to do some painting, waxing and buffing, cleaning, and dragging out the old Richard Simmons videos.  Things are picking back up now though.  We have a shredding job in Coal City today as well as more shredding in-house.

We’re gradually preparing for our big SU 50th anniversary party from 4-7 pm on Thursday, May 7.  We want a big turnout, so please save the date and encourage your coworkers, friends and families to come.  We’ll have soft drinks and adult beverages, tasty food, cool door prizes, the jazz band and more!  If they don’t know anything about SU, that’s fine too…just tell them free eats and drinks and music.  We absolutely love people to see what we do–often they will have a helpful idea then and there or sometime down the road.

We wish a happy and healthy new year to you all and thank you for all the support you have given us over recent years and over the last 50.

Pumpkin Carving Contest

Posted By: jmallaney on October 6, 2014 in Boxes, Community - Comments: No Comments »

We are so very very fortunate to have so many supportive friends here in the Streator Community.


Put your best face forward!

Put your best face forward!

Annual Rummage Sale Next Week

Posted By: jmallaney on September 23, 2014 in Boxes, Events - Comments: No Comments »

It’s going to be a big sale and we still have donations coming in through September 30!  This is a good time to do some fall cleaning and lighten your living space up.  Also a great time to come and get some good bargains!


Annual Sale

We’re adding another home!!!

Posted By: jmallaney on August 8, 2014 in Boxes, Folks and doings, Future - Comments: No Comments »

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:

Producing produce!

Producing produce!

Food for Thought check presentation

Posted By: jmallaney on February 3, 2014 in Community - Comments: No Comments »

A terrific year for Food for Thought.  We truly appreciate this support for those programs whose funding was eliminated by  the state a few years ago.  Thank you to all who made it such a success!

Paint Line 101

Posted By: jmallaney on January 15, 2014 in Future - Comments: No Comments »





Every once in awhile someone wonders why we don’t do those off-the-street paint line jobs anymore.  The ones where somebody brings by one part for their car, or a few pieces of metal for a flag or a bench or something like that.  After all, we ask (and are generously given) support by our Streator community, so why would we ever turn away work?

The main reason for this is cost.  The variables on the paint line are the speed of the conveyor rack, the heat of the oven, and the paint we are using.  Changing paint takes over an hour, so there is money spent and time lost when we do something very individualized.  The speed of the conveyor and the heat of the oven have to match the surface area, density and thickness of the metal going through.  If it doesn’t, instead of a nice coating, you either get something that will chip and peel right away or you get a piece of metal burned into something unrecognizable.  If there is the tiniest bit of oil or rust on a part, the paint won’t adhere.  Then it has to be sand-blasted either before being painted or after.  We’re not well equipped to do much sand-blasting and the cost is prohibitive.

Finally, the paint line itself is not very cost-effective.  The equipment and energy demands cost a lot and the funding we used to get to support supervision and supports for our consumers working there was cut several years ago.  We’ve discussed closing it down completely and selling off the equipment every year or two.  We value the jobs for our consumers, but can’t afford to have a job that doesn’t support itself.

The last time we had this discussion, we decided to leave the fate of the paint line up to our regular customers.  We raised our prices by as much as 70% and decided that, if they continued to send us work, we’d keep the paint line going.  Otherwise, we’d sell off the equipment and work harder on getting other types of jobs or on community employment.  Fortunately, they kept sending us work and, because they are parts in larger runs and we’re familiar with the settings requirements, we can keep running the paint line in such a way that it covers its costs and contributes a small amount towards supporting our services.

Why not keep doing those little jobs and raise prices like we did for our larger customers?  Mainly because we want to focus on the customers who are our main source of work and also because we’d have to charge so much for one little, unique part that it would be offensive to the potential customer.  We have learned during the hard years that, much as we want to be, we can’t be everything to everyone, so keep our focus on things that most directly benefit the people we server and the direct care staff who support them.

Tootsie Rolls

Posted By: jmallaney on April 15, 2013 in Community - Comments: No Comments »

Speaking of community support, thank you to the Knights of Columbus!



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