Imagine That...June 2021
In Loving Memory of Dana Hackett
The Imagine Endowment
We have started an endowment to support Imagine's future. Beginning next 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
HR Corner
Hello all, 

You may have concerns about the change in leadership. For many of you, Julie has offered a good ear, considered your needs, felt your feelings and made you laugh. Periodically, int his column, I write to you about our open door policy, reminding you that you can always reach out to me, to Doug and to Julie.

I want to assure you all that, in the search for a new Director of Services, we are discussing and considering the importance of the empathy, openness and candor you have been able to expect from Julie. The open door policy will remain. We can't promise the next Director of Services will be as funny.

But we do want to assure you that the next Director of Services will be expected to get to know you, to understand what makes life harder or easier for caregivers and to do his, her or their best for the whole community. While they get used to their new role and you get to know them, please remember that Doug and I are here to hear your ideas, wishes and concerns. You can write to me here, and Doug there.

In Good Health, 

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

Person-Centered Evolution

Person-centered practices need to account for the whole circle of support, both the "natural" circle of family, friends and neighbors as well as the paid circle. Although paid staff in the individual's life may be there temporarily and often for a short time, for most Imagine clients, they comprise an important part of what likes richer or poorer.

If you are close to those we serve, it can be hard to doubt that the longer the paid staff stay, the more committed they are to the individual and the better they understand the individual, the more the individual benefits from those relationships. There are tools we can use to promote a positive work environment for the people who join a circle of support as employees.

Sounds person-centered practices include efforts made to match potential employees with the client. Considerable thought should be given to the training that best prepares staff for their work. Consideration should be paid to what is encouraging, frustrating and challenging about work with an individual and inside their whole circle of support. Once that consideration has been paid, action should follow in order to improve the likelihood of long-term, constructive relationships throughout the circle and for the individual.

To provide a person-centered environment for those we serve, policies and practices of the organization should encourage behavior throughout the circle that tends toward focus on the individual and respectful encouragement throughout the circle of support. Seldom will we build a good environment for the individual without attention to a better environment for their staff.
The ImagineNation Wander
It's almost time for the ImagineNation Wander!

The ImagineNation Wander is happening on June 19th! With this fundraiser we hope to promote community support while maintaining social distance. This is a virtual event, but you can participate by donating, fundraising, or going on an adventure and tagging Imagine in your photos!

How it works: You can sign up to support Imagine as a fundraiser or donor by visiting our donation page. Apart from giving, fundraisers & donors will choose their own adventure for June 19th -- a hike, a kayak trip, a motorized wheelchair tour of a nearby town. On the event day, we hope to see you all post picture of your wander. And don't forget to include #ImagineNationWander #ImagineSupportedLivingServices so we can see your adventures take place in real time! You can post pictures of your wander regardless of whether or not you fundraised/donated.

Sign up wherever you are and do your wander!

Sponsorships Available: Along with fundraisers and participants, we are seeking sponsors who can contribute to the festivity. We would like to thank Aveanna Healthcare for sponsoring the ImagineNation Wander! Aveanna provides Financial Management Service support to participants in California's Self-Determination Program. We hope that members of our community considering self-determination will consider them. Please write to Doug, if you'd like an introduction.

Giving Back: One of the features we really like about the Human Race is that the non-profits support one another through a share of the funds raised. We wanted to keep that sense of community alive so Imagine will give 10% of the proceeds from this event to the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, a local nonprofit that with the mission to eliminate poverty and create social change through essential services and advocacy.

Where to start: You can begin by visiting our website to learn more about the event, you can sign up as a fundraiser or make a donation, and you can always reach out if you have any questions by contacting us here.

We are excited to see all of your adventures on June 19th!

#ImagineNationWander #ImagineSupportedLivingServices
-Submitted by Lili

This month, the Independent Facilitator Roundtable will be this coming Wednesday, June 2 at 11AM. The Zoom link is right here.

Self-determination is due to become available for all regional center clients this summer. The system is more than a little creaky but the opportunity remains valuable. If any of you want someone to discuss it with, please feel welcome to write me.

Person-Centered Evolution
Community Connections is a newly forming Imagine group that will serve to foster connections, both within the Imagine community (families, clients, organization) and outward to the broader community (businesses, general population, service providers). 

One of the awkward parts of making connections within our Imagine family is that the organization needs to be protective of client privacy and cannot simply send out a contact roster. One way to work around this is to find areas of common interest that can provide intersections where we can meet. The monthly family Zoom meeting that has been taking place during the pandemic is an example of that, as are the Film Festival and other annual events. 

Welcoming new families into the Imagine community seems a natural place to focus on supporting connections. My daughter, Briana, has been served by Imagine for about 10 years and it has only been recently (since retiring from nursing and joining Imagine’s board) that I am beginning to meet families and participate in the organization. If you would like to join a mentoring program, as a seasoned family or a newish one, let me know. And if you have particular intersections in mind where you would like to meet with others, this is your spot to put the word out. Let’s connect!

Susan Douglass  
Imagine BOD and parent   
Transparency At Imagine
Our next board meeting will be held June 16th, at 11:00. This will be our annual meeting . Write to Lili if you'd like to attend. We expect to pass a revised 2020-2021 budget at that meeting.

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 auditing process remains a mess but here is our new Form 990. The Form 990 is an annual filing required of non-profits like Imagine. It includes details of our operations and finances, including how funds are allocated. All of our mysteries wait within for an able detective.

-Submitted by Doug
Advocacy Corner
The state budget process has been as weird this year as everything else has. This is largely due to the mercurial fortunes of state revenues. A year ago, we were facing a $54 billion shortfall in revenues over three years. In January, when the Governor's budget came out, the state was tense but optimistic. Last month, when the revised budget came out it included an expected $75 billion budget surplus. Those things and the coming vote on recalling our Governor have made the process unconventional to a unique degree.

A high level summary is that there are new direct benefits available to some of the people we serve. Imagine's state-funded revenues are the same as currently, but we no longer face a funding cut as of January 1. New funds were added for clients in self-determination, mainly during transition and some new rules are proposed some of which will make things easier and some harder. However, the legislature has adopted the proposed new rules as "placeholder language," meaning they don't promise to use the rules as proposed. In all likelihood, we will all find out about any new laws at roughly the same time as the Governor.

As ever, Imagine's advocacy gets split between management's work with the California Disability Community Action Network (CDCAN) and whatever you all choose to do. Consider a conversation with a legislator. If you would like to receive CDCAN updates, write to Marty Omoto, which you can do by clicking here.

-Submitted by Doug
Appreciating Julie 
We would like to recognize and thank Julie for all her work here at Imagine. Julie has been part of the Imagine team since December, 2013 and is now taking on a new opportunity as ​Program Director at the Housing Choices Coalition . We will miss having her at Imagine, but we wish her all the best in this next step. 

-Submitted by everyone at the Imagine office
Julie created the role of Director of Services, beginning a week before I arrived as Executive Director. I haven't served a day in my role at Imagine without the confidence that comes from the support of a smart, mission-focused, reliable, caring peer and partner.

Julie's growth in her role, my growth in mine and the evolution of the organization happened together. I would not be what I am as Executive Director without her. Imagine would not be the organization it is without her. That we were able to grow as we have and stay focused on both the full community and each individual we serve is something I am very proud of and Julie deserves credit for.

I want to appreciate that the Family Home Agency, a new program for Imagine was created and became successful largely through her effort. At he same time, she has personally facilitated individual cases the entire time she's been at Imagine. She's done more direct care than could reasonably be expected. She's been as involved in the social dynamics of the people here as you would hope. She's made us all laugh and, without being indiscrete, never kept a secret.If a picture is worth a thousand words, Julie's expressions are worth 2000.

The last year really stands out as a once-in-a-lifetime challenge and I'm grateful that she was here building us up, collaborating and protecting the family. It was extremely demanding for us all and so important. Julie was right there, providing coverage for people in quarantine and directing the protection of clients, caregivers and the community. But whenever there isn't one great, world-changing, course-altering crisis there are so many smaller challenges. I'm thankful Julie was here for the COVID pandemic, but we all depended on her just as much in the years before.

It's my belief that everything alive can grow and should. I am glad for the opportunities that await her, the benefit she will bring to her new organization and the opportunity Imagine has to find different strengths. I wish Julie all the best in her new role. I refuse to accept her resignation from the Imagine family. And I thank her.

-Submitted by Julie's friend, Doug
Spotlight on Carson...
This month we would like to shine the client spotlight on our good friend Carson. Like all of us Carson was unable to focus as much on work as he would have liked during the pandemic. However he did not let this dampen his drive and was recently able to secure a new position at our local Costco. He’s already completed his first month and its seems like a great match! Be sure to say hello if you see him promoting the free samples, be careful though as he’s an excellent salesman and you may end up with a cart load of items when you only went in for a polish hot dog! Great job Carson!!!
-Submitted by Charlie
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Staff Birthdays

Jennifer G.
Dafne P.

Staff Anniversaries

Teddy - 5 Years!
Heather - 9 Years!
John D. - 2 Years!
Daisy L. - 2 Years!
Marco - 5 Years!
Rebecca - 6 Years!
Sanam - 1 Year!
Michael - 5 Years!
Derek - 9 Years!
Dave - 4 Years!