Greetings to all our MVA stakeholders! In this unprecedented time, we want to thank you all for the caring thoughts, good wishes and grace as we navigate these uncharted waters. In the last three weeks (which for the record feels like 3 years), we have taken many actions to keep people safe while at the same time keeping us financially viable for the long term.
- In March, we temporarily closed our Community Inclusion Services (CIS) programs in McMinnville, Amity, and Dallas. This was mandated by the State to comply with the Executive Order from the Governor around social distancing.
- More than 75% of supported employees were laid off from their jobs, requiring us to lay off many of our Employment Counselors in Yamhill, Polk and Marion Counties. We hope to hire many of these employees back, once the pandemic is over and businesses reopen and rehire workers.
- Our residential programs, including group homes and supported living, continue to operate while following the shelter in place orders from the Governor. This means that we are limiting visitors to essential workers. We were able to redeploy many of our CIS staff to our residential programs, providing much-needed staffing to keep residents engaged during the day, while they are not working or going to program. We also have redeployed technology tools to the homes to provide for virtual connections with loved ones.
In addition, I am excited to announce that we have formed an Innovation Team at MVA to look to the future of services for people with disabilities. As an MVA program manager recently asked: “If your house burnt down today, would you rebuild the same home tomorrow?” For most of us, the answer is no, we would build for our future life, not our past life. We will keep you updated on our program changes as we build for the future of MVA, in the spirit of Margaret Reavis-Larsen who did this very work 50 years ago. She was a woman ahead of her time and we hope to make her proud. It’s time for a refresh and our team is energized about how we can further our own mission and redefine what highest potential and a fulfilling life looks like for people with disabilities.
A phrase popped into my head this week as I thought about all the changes to our lives in these past few weeks: “Hope springs eternal”. Unbeknownst to me, it is a saying from Alexander Pope, from “An Essay on Man” in 1732. In simple terms, people always hope for the best, even in the face of adversity. Living without hope is a dreadful way to live. Nobody wants to live without hope–hope for a better life, a better tomorrow, a better eternity. The people we support help us to remain hopeful and optimistic. At MV Advancements, we are looking to the future. We wish you all hope in the days and weeks to come. Stay strong with us, as we journey on together.
With gratitude to all!
– Kathy Schlotfeldt