The story isn't uncommon. COVID-19 dramatically cut access to Minnesota disability day support programs, many staff have not returned, and and a hiring crisis has ensued as wages are not enough to attract new talent.
This is leaving people with few opportunities to connect with friends, community, and other essential day-to-day activities that make for a rich life. The impact for Caleb George-Guidry, 30, from Brooklyn Park, who lives with multiple disabilities, is a clear illustration of the unmet need.
“It’s tough with all he’s been through,” said his father, Matt Guidry. Caleb attended MSS in the same city for nine years before the pandemic hit. He had much recreation and leisure, which gave him a higher quality of life, he said.
There were many activities, small group gathering spaces, and a larger common area. Caleb enjoyed the variety and would wander from room to room, checking in on everybody, his father said.
He especially enjoyed the energy of events happening in MSS's community room and connected well with resident artists working on projects. MSS has one of the top art programs in the state for people with disabilities.