Imagine That...January 2022
In Loving Memory of Dean Wilson and Dana Hackett
Annual Fundraising Campaign

Glory. When the Fundraising Committee met to set our goal for this year, we knew two things: One was that this year is unique in that our need is greater than it has been and the other was that next year we have very solid reason to expect we'll be back to banking the donations against future hardships. The second was that our best holiday campaign ever, last year's raised less than $30,000. We decided to set an audacious goal and do our best. In that meeting, I used the phrase "Well, it's not like you go to jail if you don't meet your goal," Then we set it for $50,000 and did our best.

The Holiday campaign runs through the end of this month but as of this writing, we have doubled our goal, having passed $100,000 and learned all the wrong lessons. As you see in my first column, looking forward past the next six months has been ridden with anxiety, but this result now puts Imagine's reserves safely within worst-case projections. Thank you very much for all you do to sustain this organization's mission.

We'll be retiring the thermometer from here. If you want to pile on and, maybe, mock me for my pessimism, you can still donate here.

The Imagine Endowment
We have an endowment to support Imagine's future. Beginning this year, Imagine will receive regular payments of the returns from these funds. Initially, we expect the impact to be small but as the endowment grows, it holds the promise of helping Imagine help others through hard times to come.

If you are considering a gift to the endowment, either right now or as part of a giving plan or bequest, we have information available here. And thank you.

To make direct contributions please make checks payable to; The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.  Designate the "Imagine Supported Living Services Fund". Mail to;   Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, 7807 Soquel Dr., Aptos, Ca.  95003.

-Submitted by Doug
The Service Sector
Greetings Imagine family!

We made it to 2022! We may not be at the stage in the pandemic that we wanted but getting though 2021 together as an agency should be recognized as an achievement of many people’s hard work and dedication. Despite more complications with pandemic variants, I do have a lot of optimism for 2022. This last six months we have been working a lot on the foundations of our services that were greatly affected when the pandemic started. We still have work to do but I am starting to see progress that we can build on in this new year. We would love for 2022 to be a year we get back to normal with all our events and opportunities in the community for our consumers and teams though we know after this year that is not guaranteed. This is even more reason for us to focus now more than ever on our systems both in how we work with our consumers and how we support our employees and families. I have appreciated and still welcome feedback from consumers, staff, and family members where we may have fallen short to help us identify areas the agency still needs to improve.

In December the facilitator team met, and we looked at goals for the new year. One area we identified needing better routines was staff evaluations. These are annual reviews with each staff member where we identify areas where staff are excelling and areas that still need improvement or more training. We aim to complete these for each team the month after a consumer has their birthday. Though we always welcome feedback throughout the year it is useful for consumers, staff and families to know that we may be reaching out for input to recognize staff achievements or challenges around this time. Imagine values evaluations and knows that they can be extremely beneficial for our top employees to get recognition for their efforts as well as supporting our staff that are finding it challenging to maintain the necessary standards.

We also relooked at some of the areas I have mentioned in previous newsletters and really put an emphasis on 2022 being a year where we start off strong and keep the momentum going each month to really create routine systems that will stay consistent. This includes but is not limited to monthly teams meeting, prompt follow up, clear communication, supportive training, collaborative ISP and quarterly reports, proactive verses reactive thinking and person-centered planning.

That is all from me for now, but I hope everyone had a restful holiday period and I look forward to working with you all in this new year!
Here we come 2022!


Charlie Miller
Director of Services 
Imagine Supported Living Services
9065 Soquel Drive
Aptos, CA 95003
Office: (831) 464-8355 ext. 103
Mobile: (831) 428-1731

HR Corner
Hello Everyone, 

I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable Holiday Season. I know a lot of us are feeling a combination of burn out and cautiousness with the news of the Omicron variant. Please make sure that you remember that we are still following the COVID-19 protocols of staying home if you are ill and wearing a mask while on shift. Please do let us know as soon as possible if you have been exposed to anyone testing positive. Imagine continues to work hard on keeping everyone safe and communicating thoroughly when we need to take more precaution. 

One major COVID-19 update that we have recently been presented with is a new Booster Vaccine Mandate. This means that employees who received their 2nd COVID-19 Vaccine, or one Johnson & Johson vaccine, over 6 months ago, must receive a booster shot by February 1, 2022, in order to be considered fully vaccinated and continue to comply with the vaccine Mandate. I understand, even as I write this, that this will not be easy to hear. The amount of news about these vaccines really intensifies one's ability to process what we feel is the best path for us and our families. Imagine has consistently trusted the guidance of the CDC and other medical organizations. Many of our clients and admin staff have received the booster shot. If you are having a hard time finding information about the booster vaccine that you trust, or if you would like to process this news with us, please feel free to reach out. 

On a different note, please take a moment to review your 2021 W2 on paychex flex, and please submit any changes in dependents for 2022 to me as soon as possible. Your paystub for the pay period of 1/1/22-1/15/22 will reflect a change in pay rate. Anyone that was making $14 an hour will be moved up to $15 an hour according to the minimum wage change. Imagine continues to plan for pay increases based on the duration of time each employee has been at Imagine. We hope to make that change happen sometime in midyear. 

My sincere wish for Imagine in the new year is to continue to focus on employee culture and morale. It is my personal goal as someone whose job is centered around employee matters, to make sure that everyone feels seen and heard with any issue you may bring to us, even in times when all we can do is listen. Please always feel free to reach out to me or make an in-person appointment with me, if you feel you don't understand something about our policies, employee portals, or even something about working with your client. Our clients' quality of life is very much impacted by our employees and how connected you feel to the program you are a part of. 

As always, I am here for you to reach out to. Wishing everyone a great 2022. 

In Good Health, 

Patty Lopez 
HR Manager 
Imagine Supported Living Services 
831-464-8355 ext. 112
Cell: (831) 325-7760

Self-Determination is now available for any regional center client who chooses it but it seems to be a slow process enrolling. If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me. I'm pleased that there are a few current and recent Imagine employees who are developing Independent Facilitation practices and I'll be glad to connect them with those looking.

This month, the Independent Facilitator Roundtable will be Wednesday (January 5) at 11AM. The Zoom link is right here. For people interested in Self-determination, there is also a monthly zoom event to introduce individuals and families to Independent Facilitators. It's the third Friday of each month and the time is supposed to rotate but we seem stuck on 2:30-4. Let me know if you're interested and I'll send the link and confirmation of the time.

-Submitted by Doug
Community Connections
January 2022      

I want to give out a shout of gratitude for the generous contributions to the year-end fund raising campaign. As of this writing, we have doubled our goal which we set nearly double last year! Not only does that generosity help on a financial level, it also provides a huge morale boost. Knowing that the Imagine families are engaged and supportive in a very difficult time for the organization helps the people who work at Imagine stay the course through this prolonged hardship. Thank you!!  

Alas, we begin another year with Zoom meet-ups being our best option for safely connecting. I hope you will join us Tuesday 1/18 4-5pm for a meeting of parents only. Imagine management will sit this one out, Lord knows they deserve a break! 

We will discuss the very thoughtful and detailed recommendations made by the Compensation Committee regarding employee pay structure and raise criteria. You can review that report in this newsletter. And then we’ll open the floor to discussion. Hope to see you there!

Susan Douglass, Imagine parent, BOD member     831-818-2501

Transparency At Imagine
Our next board meeting will be held February 16, at 11:00. Write to Norma if you'd like to attend. Imagine's finances did not immediately rebound following the end of the riskiest part of the pandemic and we'll discussing why and how to repair the trouble.

We are still recruiting board members. We are working to diversify the board and to add a GAAP-trained treasurer. An attorney wouldn't be bad either.

-Submitted by Doug
Advocacy Corner
As it was last month, so it is now. There have been few new opportunities to advocate for Imagine Direct Care Staff to be included in some of the federal funding that came through the CARES Act, and we remain in a guessing game as to the increase in funding we can expect this coming summer. Actually, we have assurances that the rate increases will take effect April 1 and be ready in time. But let's say summer.

Our hope remains that our budget will be in balance when the rate increase comes through and the majority of new funding can make a difference to staff compensation. The board and management are committed to that as the primary purpose of any new funding. People should understand that if we are still operating in deficit, the money will have to be divided for both purposes.

A separate promising, but too vague, development now in law is that there is to be support for enhanced direct care wages for bilingual staff and those who meet certain professional development goals. As yet, the state hasn't developed or shared much clarity on how, how much, how measured. We very much appreciate the concept and will share more information when it develops.

As always, thanks to Marty Omoto of CDCAN for amplifying the transparency and circularity of information between the community and policy-makers. If you would like to receive CDCAN's extensive reporting, write to Marty. If you're exhausted from sending all that money to Imagine but still have money sitting around accusing you, supporting CDCAN supports our community.

-submitted by Doug
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Staff and Client Birthdays


Staff Anniversaries

Bruce W. - 14 Years!
Jessica B. - 4 Years!
Julianna T. - 4 Years!
January 2022 Calendar