JP Happenings – January 2018
"I like cars. I like to draw and write people's names. I like to dance."
|Not pictured is Laura, who loves many girly things, such as having her waist-length hair done and being a fashionista. She is quick to smile and is very attuned to everything going on around her.|
On March 14th, 2017, Josh’s Place embarked on our first trip to the Minnesota State Capitol to support the Best Life Alliance, formerly known at the 5% campaign. The Best Life Alliance is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations, people with disabilities, families and supporters advocating for Home & Community-Based Services.
The rally held at the Minnesota State Capitol aimed to support the 2017 Best Life Alliance Bill, which supports a consecutive 4% wage increase for more than 80,000 direct care workers statewide and to develop a long-term solution for funding health insurance for direct care workers. Direct care workers who assist people with disabilities have demanding, highly-skilled, professional jobs and should receive competitive wages. Unfortunately, those wages have not kept up with rising costs of living over the past decade.
Josh’s Place Superstars and VIP’s made the long trip from Brainerd, Walker and St. Cloud to come together with so many other providers to participate in the wonderful and incredibly meaningful event. This event had a real impact on those who attended! Please keep scrolling to see fun photos and thoughts from VIP’s & Superstars who attended the great event. If you are looking for ways you can advocate for people with disabilities and their staff please click here.
“It was so fun standing in the Capital Rotunda, cheering, and seeing ALL the people there to support such an important cause! I was so surprised that meeting with our Senators and Representatives was VERY personal and that was a wonderful experience to tell our stories. For me, this is what I’m here for and why I’m in this field. The VIPs we serve may not always be able to advocate for themselves and we are here to be a louder voice for them.”
– Kiri Basore, Superstar Designated Manager
“It was so wonderful seeing everyone unite for such a valuable cause. I was so impressed at how many people participated We have a lot of work to continue to do as we advocate for people with disabilities. Our goal is that each year Josh’s Place will increase participation and to help build awareness of all the needs in MN. Although, every day, on all levels we will continue to advocate. It is the core of why we do what we do.”
– Melanie Fountaine, Superstar Chief Services Officer
Pictured: VIPs Phelysha and David, Superstars Jana and Melanie
“The best part of the day at the capital for me, was seeing so many people advocate for themselves, their co-workers and their clients. There is a raw power, and energy that fuels all the people that were present at the capitol. This energy makes them stand up and say, “We want a wage increase, we need a wage increase, and our clients deserve more staffing, better staffing, and this is how we do it!” You could visually see the advocacy not only for the clients, but also for each other, for the companies that dedicate their time, their passion and their hearts to the field of human services. The clients also were able to voice their opinions and show compassion toward their staff, the appreciation they have for their staff is absolutely mind blowing. What surprised me the most was that the Representatives and Senators we met with, they were incredibly patient. They posed hard questions, but we were able to come back, share our stories, quote facts and they allowed us to talk about how the increase would affect our staffing. They were also generally accommodating to our individuals. I was also impressed with the kindness of people attending the rally; it was like being with a big giant caregiver family. It is a privilege to work with our VIPs, it means I get to be a voice for someone else and that I get to change the way people with physical and mental disabilities are viewed. It is an amazing feeling each day that I get to help someone advocate for themselves and the smile on their faces is priceless.“
– Kat Oltman, Superstar Designated Coordinator
VIP’s & Superstars Meeting with their Representatives!
On May 6, 2016 Josh’s Place announced that it is supporting Confidence Learning Center (also known as, Camp Confidence) through a social media campaign. The partnership between Josh’s Place and Camp Confidence is a vital part of supporting our VIP’s in the Brainerd and Walker area”, says, Melissa Danielsen, co-Founder at Josh’s Place.
In keeping with a key company program – Josh’s Place Gives Back – Josh’s Place donated $2 to Camp Confidence for every NEW ‘Like’ of Josh’s Place Facebook page from May 6 to May 31, 2016.
“Camp Confidence and their “Get Fit” Program have helped build skills and confidence in the lives of VIP’s at Josh’s Place,” says Melanie Fountaine, Josh’s Place Co-Founder, “and we are thrilled that we are able to launch this new campaign to support such an awesome organization that creates opportunities for fun, dynamic social lives and fulfilling ways to engage with people in the broader community.”
“I really appreciate this generous gesture from Josh’s Place,” says Sarah Smith, Special Events Coordinator Confidence Learning Center. “We enjoy the interaction and involvement of the people who live at Josh’s Place. We look forward to more visits and to all the great things that this partnership will create in the future.”
Josh’s Place had the honor of extending a donation of $551 from the social media campaign to Confidence Learning Center! Thank YOU ALL for being a part of it and thanks to Camp Confidence for all that they do!
My name is Joyce. I like people. I like when people are kind to others. I like to go to the senior center and play BINGO. I almost always win. I also like the dance and meeting my friends there. I have lots of friends. I am kind to people. I like going to the casino and out to eat. I am retired about 7 years now. My favorite thing to do is to go to lunch with my brother Pete.
Josh’s Place, Chief Administrative Officer, Melissa Danielsen recently was elected to the ARRM Board of Directors where she will also serve as Conference Committee Co-Chair. Melissa is honored to dedicate time to the great work that ARRM does for the disabilities community.
The Power of Community:
Connections That Transform Lives
The Arc Minnesota Annual Awards Banquet and State Conference
September 23-24, 2016
Shoreview Community Center
People with disabilities deserve to be full members of their communities. At The Arc Minnesota Annual State Conference on Sept. 24, 2016, we will show how to make that possible for children and adults alike through videos, presentations, and panel discussions. Attendees will see how life in the community is possible in school, with friends, in finding employment and housing, and at the State Capitol. Amy Hewitt, a nationally-recognized leader in research on innovative disability policy and services, will give the keynote address, “Making the Case for Community.” At our Awards Banquet on Sept. 23, 2016, we’ll honor Minnesotans for their outstanding work to make life in the community a reality.
Register through our secure online registration page. Contact Mike Gude with any questions at (651) 604-8066 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to be close to public transportation and live on a double lot with a lot of outdoor space? We’ve got the perfect spot for you – West Oaks House. It is a comfortable, centrally located home within a quiet neighborhood of the St. Cloud community! The home hosts a beautiful backyard that you can enjoy from the large deck. The bedrooms are spacious and serene. There are living rooms upstairs and downstairs. A kitchenette is also available downstairs. The home is a split level, so ability to navigate stairs is important. The home is clean and caring – we’d love to welcome a new roommate that needs SLS support in this great house!