Someone once said, “If you don’t move forward, sooner or later, you begin to move backward.” HDC will soon be undertaking several initiatives, in part, to move forward. However, the primary objective of each initiative is to create opportunities for people to succeed, to achieve, to grow, and to be happy.
GROUP HOME TRANSITION
Currently under the direction of the Community Residential Services program, HDC operates three group homes throughout Davenport. Up to eight individuals live in each of the three homes, and they are provided with support from staff for all areas of daily living.
Over the years, the needs of individuals living in the group homes have changed. More people are experiencing medical conditions and other issues that require additional attention. To ensure those needs are addressed in the most efficient and effective manner, the group homes and the individuals who live there will soon be under the direction of the Residential Center.
With medical personnel and supervisory staff on duty 24/7 at the Residential Center, someone will always be readily available when health concerns arise, as they so often do now. The transition will take place gradually, with the first home making the shift in May. All three homes will be transitioned by September. Details are currently being finalized in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. For people who reside in the group homes, they will see very little change, but the transition will allow for all facility-based residential programs to operate under one umbrella.
HDC has a long history of providing a sheltered work environment for people with developmental disabilities. Families, program participants, and the community have seen the value of the workshop and expressed a desire to have it available as an option. For many years, individuals have had the opportunity to experience the value of being productive and earning a paycheck by performing real work for companies in their own community. However, funding for workshop services has dwindled as the trend to move away from sheltered workshops continues. To prepare for this continued trend, HDC is transitioning a portion of the existing sheltered workshop to an initiative called “HDC Enterprises”.
HDC Enterprises will employ individuals who are currently workshop participants and who have a desire to be involved in this new opportunity. They will be paid $7.25 per hour, Iowa’s minimum wage, and will work 29 hours each week.
A concerted effort to procure work for employees in this area is vital to the success of the program. All subcontract work will first be directed to HDC Enterprises with any overflow going to the remainder of the workshop. Increased capabilities will be available as additional and upgraded equipment is obtained.
Long-term plans include transitioning more sections of the workshop to HDC Enterprises and developing a self-sustaining operation, while continuing to provide the workshop as an employment option.
ADULT DAY SERVICES
The unfortunate reality for many people with disabilities who work in the community is that the hours they are scheduled are often much less than they desire. The job is great, but working limited hours results in a lot of free time. Adult Day Services may be a good option for these people.
Another group of people who may benefit from this program are those who find participating in traditional day programs challenging. For a variety of reasons, including health conditions, age-related issues, and others, some individuals struggle with the demands of daily attendance and adherence to strict regulations.
HDC is pursuing an Adult Day Services program that would meet the needs of these groups. For part-time workers, they could take advantage of a social outlet when they are not working. For others, they would have the flexibility of participating when they want and/or when their health allows. The emphasis of the program is recreation and leisure activities and socialization amongst the fairly independent participants. While there may be a few select individuals currently involved in HDC programs who may be a good fit for this Adult Day Services, it is anticipated that most participants will be people who live in the community without any other support services.
The program will operate on a shortened day in a designated space at the HDC Personal Independence Services building.
The group home transition is underway and the timeline for the first transition in May is on target.
Plans are also proceeding for HDC Enterprises and Adult Day Services. Two separate grants have been submitted to help launch these programs and the required approval process has begun. Updates on the progress of these initiatives will be provided as things continue to move forward.