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Imagine That . . . July 2020

In This Issue
Help support Imagine!

Simone, practicing some yoga!

An enjoyable pool day for Ryan!

Neighborhood stroll!

Evening at the beach!

Practicing social distancing with a FaceTime call!

Successful gardening at the Kennedy house!

Click Here  to view the Monthly Activity Calendar!

9065 Soquel Drive
Aptos, Ca 95003
Love In The Time of COVID

Dear Imagine friends and family,

We very much want to thank those who donated to our Gratitude Fund.  With the match from Imagine, we will be dividing $20,000 into bonuses for staff who have kept those we serve safe, respected and entertained during the pandemic while looking out for one another.  In fact, our fiscal year just ended and Imagine received $100,000 in donations, grants and sponsorships, very much a first in our history.  Thank you for that.

And speaking of gratitude, we have a brand new web site! ( At an old URL) A super team spent more than a year developing it and I think it looks pretty sweet.  Thank you to our team of Al, Lili, Janine and Kevin. Let us know how you like it.

We are grateful to report that the pandemic continued to spare Imagine's clients and staff for another month.  We are aware that cases are growing substantially in the Monterey Bay area while public accommodations are opening up.  The challenge we have collectively will continue to be avoiding complacency and remaining committed to prevention.  We have asked staff to do interview screens of any visitors and each other at shift change.  Please continue to wear masks, wash your hands liberally and maintain social distance as possible. 

As an organization dedicated to inclusion and the value of every person, we support Black Lives Matter and have not discouraged our clients or employees from protesting in support.  We do ask anyone from the Imagine family to maintain social distance, wear masks and follow other protocols when they participate.

The threat to our funding from the State Budget has receded for now. To accommodate the risks ahead, we have delayed some raises and enhanced benefits but generally don't anticipate major changes to our own budget.  We look forward to providing raises and increased benefits once confidence in their sustainability returns.

We have begun the process of adding one caseload to Imagine's Supported Living program. We're excited for the people who will be entering our family. Many of those will be from Coastal Haven Families, young people transitioning for the first time outside their parents' homes. We'd love it if some of our clients and their family members would be willing to mentor these new members of our family.  ( See below)

As it is, I'm very grateful to work with and for such an extraordinary group of people. This is a hard time for a lot of people and I'm very proud of how well the Imagine family has pulled together.

In the Human Resources column this month, Patty wants you to be safe. If you work at Imagine, please do read her column.

In our Advocacy Corner, the final budget report for now.

A brief statement on the Strategic Plan.

This month, in our  Person Centered Evolution  column, we discuss person-centered thinking and public health.

Our column on the  Self-Determination Program.

The  Transparency column includes information about board openings, the date of our next board (tele-)meeting and information about how to participate, 

The appreciations this month are for      Devin and   Malcolm.

As ever, if you have any questions, feedback or concerns, please don't hesitate to get in touch.  You can write me here.

Gratefully yours,


HR Corner- Coronavirus Edition 4

Hello Imagine Family, 

During the last month as we have seen the Shelter in Place orders begin to loosen up, we have seen cases of COVID-19 spike in Santa Cruz and Monterey County. Luckily, and thanks to all of you, we have been able to remain case free at Imagine. Though it definitely feels tiring and overwhelming to continue social distancing measures, please remember that right now more that ever and for the foreseeable future your efforts are crucial. 

With cases rising, it is important to continue disinfecting and washing our hands regularly, as well keeping 6 feet distance whenever possible. Please also continue using the masks we have provided you. As I have mentioned before, vacations will only be approved on a case by case basis, and you will be asked to self isolate for 14 days following your vacation. 

Additionally, we will be implementing a Health Screen checklist to be done at every shift exchange and for visitors. As you enter a shift, the staff you are replacing will be in charge of asking you questions regarding any symptoms you may be experiencing. Those of you that go into a shift without a shift exachange staff, will be responsible for self screening. This added measure is once again following the advice of the CDC regarding symptom checking. Though many COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic, there have been specific symptoms linked to the disease that are easy to self check. 

Just as important as continuing with cleanliness routines and social distancing measures, is our trust in one another. Now is the time to connect with each other. Trust in our teammates is the thing that will get us through this. As you make a decision to travel this summer or gather for holidays, please remember that your coworkers are counting on you to continue safety measures and that your clients are some of the most vulnerable in our community. 

As we have learned from observing news and research, it is a good idea to test regularly as well. You can make an appointment for free testing at 

One more reminder to please stay home if you have any cold or flu like symptoms and to get in touch with me or your facilitator right away for additional guidance. 

I hope everyone is staying safe and practicing a lot of self care. As always, you are invited to contact me with any questions or concerns, if you need contact information for our mental health services through MHN,  if you have questions related to our new COVID-19 policies, or if you would like resources to learn more about the current social justice issues. 


Patty Lopez 
HR Coordinator 
Imagine Supported Living Services 

Be a Guide

When the Coastal Havens Families' neighborhood opens around the New Year, about a dozen young people with developmental disabilities will leave their parents' homes and move out for the first time. Imagine's staff and other partners in the community have been doing our best to advise, encourage and envision the new community. 

It would be really valuable if people who have made This transition, however you made it, would add their own wisdom to the comfort, confidence and guidance of these pioneers.  If you are an adult living on your own or the family of an Imagine client and would be open to a mentoring relationship with Coastal Havens' families, we would really appreciate it.  Please write to me if you are open to taking on that role.

-Submitted by Doug
Person-Centered Evolution

One of the challenges of person-centered thinking comes when you widen the view to the community or the population.  Contagious disease outbreaks demand that we do so. But so does individual  mental  health. A common frustration with person-centered thinking is that it can be easy to devalue others in the life of an individual receiving services. And even easier to ignore neighbors and the folks down the block, across town and throughout the world.

It takes discipline when doing a person-centered plan or other document to pay due respect to paid and unpaid caregivers and community members and strangers. But with that discipline, it is easy. Just make sure you consider, how does this individual present to the community? What do they want from friends, neighbors and strangers? What impact do they have on caregivers? What knowledge or advice would help someone?  How does the individual move through the world and what change do they want to make to the  world?

In our present circumstances, person-centered thinking has to include questions along the lines of: What does the individual need socially? How much space do they need and where are safe places to find enough room? Will this individual respect social distance or wear a mask? What are the implications of that on caregiving and travel? What risks are created for the individual because of how they interact with others? 
-Submitted by Doug

Strategic Plan Update

The Strategic Plan continues to progress even during the COVID-19. Obviously, most of our work is fairly focused on the present and planning for the immediate future, but we are using Person-Centered tools in our planning for the epidemic, doing an unusual amount of training and education. Many of the main goals of our plan have become intrinsic enough to move forward even in the presence of an explosive surprise. You can view the updated Strategic Plan here

-Submitted by Doug

Self-Determination Learning Community

The Self-Determination Independent Facilitator Network (formerly the Self-Determination Learning Community) will meet today at 11 on Zoom.  You can follow this link to join.  You can email David Grady for more iinformation if you have any trouble joining.

The same group provided a Webinar to train people interested in serving as Independent Facilitators. It was the funnest one yet and there will, I'm confident, be more. Watch this space or write me or write David Grady if you are interested.

There remains a need for person-centered planners to assist individuals with developmental disabilities, although the community has responded and this will help many in the traditional program to find facilitators for their own person-centered plans. At least one Imagine team member is trained and available as an independent contractor for person-centered planning. Please email me if you are looking for support.

Some self-determination families report a slow-down in the process during this epidemic. That is understandable but also frustrating given the need for innovative and un-vendored support for people during shelter-in-place.  

-Submitted by Doug
Transparency At Imagine

Our next board meeting will be held August 19, at 11:00. 

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.

Our 2018-2019 fiscal year audit remains about where it was at the starts of February and January.  Have mercy.

-Submitted by Doug
Advocacy Corner

The Governor has signed the state budget. You can read it all here.  The "trigger cuts" which would have steeply reduced Imagine's revenues weren't approved by the legislature. Imagine remains in a cautious posture, however, because the state budget replies on pleasant surprises and depleting the state's cash reserves.  There is a risk that bad news can cause a budget crisis.  There is also a risk that without bad news, the state may remain in fiscal stress. 

We have delayed some raises the board had previously approved as well as a floating holiday we intended to offer full-time employees beginning July 1.  We are really eager to increase employee compensation and will be glad when we confidently, sustainably can.  In the meanwhile, we will be preparing to survive bad news, together.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to write.

-Submitted by Doug
Appreciating Devin .... 

-Submitted by Heather

Spotlight on Malcolm. .. 

[Image Text:  "Since March, Malcolm has not been able to work due to the coronavirus and the shelter-in-place orders. Malcolm takes so much pride in his work and not being there every day has taken a toll on him. But since he has been at home, he has been helping around the house more, and he even started his own little garden! Malcolm is growing tomatoes, chilies, and a couple more vegetables. Even thought Malcolm wishes he was back at work, he has enjoyed his time at home with his partner, Cindy and his staff. Keep up the good work Malcolm and we all hope that you are able to get back to work soon!"]

-Submitted by Heather

Birthdays & Anniversaries


Staff Birthdays


Sam M.



Cynthia F.








Rebecca O.






John B.





Staff Anniversaries


Andrea E. -- 3 Years!

Yaneth -- 1 Year!

Maria F. -- 3 Years! 

Cynthia H. -- 4 Years! 

Maria J. -- 1 Year!

Carlos -- 5 Years!

James L. -- 3 Years!

Cailin -- 5 Years!

Charlie -- 2 Years!

Carrie -- 4 Years!

Nneka -- 1 Year!

Faviola -- 1 Year!

Yessica -- 1 Year!

Erick -- 3 Years!

KiAna -- 1 Year!

Yvonne -- 2 Years! 



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