As you can imagine, despite the upheaval caused by the Coronavirus, One Vision’s important work in the communities we serve continues to move forward and we have several exciting updates to report. We continue to make strides on our vision to grow community integrated living for the individuals we serve.
We are proud to announce the opening of our Pebblestone ICFs, the newest pair of community-integrated Intermediate Care Facility homes located in Garner, Iowa. On July 30th, the State of Iowa approved our application to relocate ten of the people we support on our Clear Lake campus to these two new 5-bedroom homes in Garner.
In December last year ten people we support moved to two 5-bedroom Stone Pillar ICF homes in Mason City. Both sets of homes are located in neighborhoods which allows for even greater integration into their communities. We continue to strive to have all of the people we support to be a part of the community, not simply live in the community.
Obviously, we continue to be judicious at this time of the coronavirus pandemic about the amount and types of activities the people we support in ICF have in the community, however, over the long-term we are very excited about the opportunities these moves create for the individuals living in these new homes – the opportunity to go for walks in their neighborhood and wave and visit with neighbors, easier access to other events happening in those communities, and more. In addition, these homes are built to ensure the comfort and security meet the needs of the individual which increases the feeling that they are living in a home not a facility.
As many of you know, this move to integrated home-based living for the people we support was mandated by the US Supreme Court’s Olmsted ruling. Their decision required One Vision to broaden our horizons in order to sustain our mission and values. In re-envisioning how we provide services, we were tasked with finding a solution for how to best use the land on our main campus in order to protect our organization’s ability to ensure continuity of service to those we support. Our mission and values haven’t changed. Rather, they have expanded to include Independent Active Senior Living options for the wider community in North Iowa.
With the addition of Glen Oaks, we have been able to convert our grounds that could no longer serve as a village for individuals with disabilities into a groundbreaking opportunity for Active Senior Living unlike any other in North Iowa.
Our 48-unit independent senior living apartment building, TimberCrest at Glen Oaks, is nearly complete. As I write this message, we have only a small amount of ‘finishing up’ to complete–minor paint touch-up, planting the landscaping flowers and shrubs and installing a railing on our retaining wall in the front of the building. We are very excited to have this project completed and to continue to bring in individuals and couples into our new community. With the completion of TimberCrest, we will have completed Phase 1 of the Glen Oaks campus redevelopment project, which entailed building the TimberCrest apartments, converting the first two cottages to townhomes–the Terraces at Glen Oaks, conversion of portions of the KLC into space designed as amenities for residents of the Glen Oaks community (fitness room, theater room, atrium sitting area), and completing all of the infrastructure upgrades needed to support these new homes and apartments.
We also said goodbye to longtime Chief Development Officer, Michael Mahaffey, and welcomed Jennifer Pinske as the new Chief Development Officer. Newly hired Denise Funk steps into her role as Development Officer, and I encourage you to welcome her and introduce yourself as she champions our cause forward. She brings with her 20 years of experience with Martin Brothers and has already proven to be a valuable addition as she jumps into our fall fundraiser, UPlift: Virtual Video Contest. Due to COVID-19, our Development Team has been working hard on this new project to replace the $80,000 normally raised from our Children’s Autism Center’s spring Walk-A-Block and our fall Benefit Walk. While we wish conditions allowed us to hold these beloved events, we know you understand the need to uphold the safety of everyone involved in our organization. I encourage you to check out the inspiring and fun videos at www.give.onevision.org/uplift, you’ll see some familiar faces. And when you donate to your favorite videos, you help them for a chance to win a Stay-At-Home Prize Pack. Or upload your own video and help us by fundraising for One Vision’s Employment Solutions and Children’s Autism Center, which have both been greatly impacted by
Just like with the rest of the country, One Vision has been hyper focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly on planning, preparing and responding to all the myriad ways the pandemic has impacted us, from the initial closures of many of our service lines and businesses, then as we began experiencing cases of the virus among the people we support and workforce, and now as the State of Iowa is only days away from resuming elementary, secondary and college classes. Since the onset of the pandemic, the staff have been remarkable in their response. I am humbled by their dedication to our mission and privileged to work with them.
We continue to focus on the quality of life for all those we serve. Our Human Rights team, led by Cindy Richardson, continues to champion our values that every person is worthy of the Right to live a life of dignity, centered around their personal goals and interests, making sure life plans reflect the individual. We have also been working on an exciting new opportunity which we will be formally announcing in the next newsletter. Stay tuned... be sure to read about it this winter.
As always, I thank you for being a part of One Vision and the important work we do. Stay safe, stay healthy. #OVStrong
Mark Dodd, CEO