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Imagine That . . . May 2020

In This Issue
Help support Imagine!

Briana decorating Easter eggs!

Easter eggs by Briana!


Sophie and Lluvia

Throwback to a shopping trip with Hayley!

Hoping everyone is staying safe and thank you for practicing social distancing!

Click Here  to view the Monthly Activity Calendar!

9065 Soquel Drive
Aptos, Ca 95003
Coronavirus Chronicles, Issue 2

Dear Imagine friends and family,

As with every one of our friends and neighbors, this has been a challenging second month of crisis. We continue to prepare for the trial to get harsher, but I'm glad to report that as of this writing the coronavirus and its consequences have not overwhelmed us. In fact, Imagine has been strong enough to extend temporary support to one individual who was displaced due to COVID-19-related decisions and to prepare to serve non-Imagine clients who test positive during their convalescence. (Note: staff working with individuals recovering from COVID-19 will not work or come into contact with existing Imagine clients.) We have distributed gallons of home made hand sanitizer to other organizations serving people with developmental disabilities, economically challenged or immigrant communities.

We remain very proud of our community. Direct care staff, managers, clients, families and friends have worked together with a great spirit. Direct care staff, in particular, have been magnificent.  Showing up every day and covering each other's shifts as necessary so that anyone with any symptoms can stay home responsibly. We can continue to research, learn and plan for a reversal but we're very grateful to those who have made things go so well. We still haven't had a case among our clients or employees. In Santa Cruz County, although the disease continues to spread slowly, the number of people considered recovered has, in recent days, been growing faster than the number of confirmed cases. This suggests that for now the peak has passed.

Communication is harder during shelter in place and we want to let you know of some opportunities that developed to keep us all in community together.  

  • There are weekly telemeetings set up for employees of Imagine. These take place every Thursday at 10AM and 7PM. The Executive Team attends each of these and all employees or family home providers of Imagine are invited.
  • There will be monthly stakeholder meetings for family members and conservators of people we serve.  These will take place on the last Wednesday of each month at 4PM.
  • Service teams are encouraged to set up remote game nights, parties, meetups and social events using among and between the individuals we serve.
  • If any stakeholders not listed above would like a broader community tele meeting please let me know. If you would like to participate in any of the events listed, please write to Lili. The tele-meeting platforms are subject to change.

Before we (kinda) leave this topic, I do want to let you know how grateful and proud I am to count myself as a member of the Imagine community. We spend a lot of time planning for and thinking about the future. Throughout that process, we hope that if something big comes up that we haven't planned for, that we will be able to rise to the occasion. This has been big, bad and we did not see it coming. Yet we have met the challenge wonderfully.

I really want to change the anonymous Imagine family members who donated most of the ingredients for our home made hand sanitizer as well as the nonanonymous Plumlees who helped with the manufacture.

Not all of the challenges due to Coronavirus have arrived. The California state budget has been decimated. In his speech regarding the budget, the Governor warned that there would be no  new increases in funding for almost anything, that some funding levels might be cut and that the pandemic has taught us the value of homeless services and in-home care for people with illness, disability and the elderly. We can hope to be spared the worst of what is to come, but we can't predict how bad that is. For that reason, Imagine will, for the next few months, prioritize the health and safety of our clients and staff, followed by our gratitude and our need to save for the uncertainties that are almost upon us.

In the Human Resources column this month, Patty has updates on the coronavirus and our approach to keeping folks safe and healthy as well as a reminder that now is open enrollment for our benefits. If you work at Imagine, please do read her column.

The Human Race is here. Considering our current situation and our sober participation this year, we are doing really well.  As of this writing Imagine is running a little behind the last few years but plenty well enough thanks, especially to Simone, Sophie and Eliot our returning champion fundraisers. More below.

In our Advocacy Corner, discussion of mostly money.

A brief statement on the Strategic Plan.

This month, our  Person Centered Evolution  column this month, person-centered planning keeps coming up as we respond to theNovel Coronavirus.  Here's an example.

Very brief update 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    Alexa and     David.

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 2

It has been a long month as we all shelter in place and hope to see positive news on this health crisis. I hope that everyone has felt their needs met by Imagine especially when it comes to safety. Imagine has never felt more proud of our teams as we watch everyone come together to support our clients. The administrative team has been doing their best to keep supplies available for staff and clients. I know Doug worked on making hand sanitizer for the agency and there is a lot available at the office if anyone needs it. Everyone should have also received a cloth mask. 

We have received some feedback on mask wearing. It sounds like it may have been difficult for some folks to adjust to it. I hope you all received my email with step by step instructions on mask wearing. Please remember that masks are only effective if they are being handled properly and washed regularly. They will also only be helpful if other steps are being followed such as disinfecting regularly, washing hands often, and sheltering in place. Please reach out to me if you feel you need training on how to properly wear your mask. Remember it is now mandatory in Santa Cruz County for residents to wear masks in public and in the work place. Imagine expects all our staff to wear masks on shift and to let us know if there are any concerns. 

In order to strengthen our efforts to keep all our staff safe, we will be adding a checklist to be completed during every shift exchange regarding self checking for symptoms of COVID-19. Remember that if you have any symptoms you should be staying home. If you speak to a coworker with symptoms please encourage them to go home and speak with their supervisor. The Checklist can be downloaded here

We know all of this is taxing for everyone. Social distancing orders can feel isolating and stressful. If you feel like you require emotional support, please reach out to our Employee Assistance Program, which allows you to have 3 free sessions with a counselor or speak with a crisis counselor. 

Here is the EAP information:

Call toll free, 24 hours a day: 1800-227-1060. Ask to be connected with counseling services. Our company code is: imaginesls 

I urge everyone that is having a difficult time to reach out for help whether it is to a friend, to us at Imagine, or to our EAP. 

Imagine has always made healthcare for our staff one of our biggest priorities. It is especially important to us to keep you insured during this health crisis. If you are full time and enrolled in our health insurance please be on the look out for an email regarding Open Enrollment. During Open Enrollment you will be able to make changes to your plan and add or remove dependents. Once you see this email please make sure you complete your enrollment as soon as possible to avoid the risk of any lapse in insurance. 

As always feel free to call me with questions or concerns. Stay safe everyone. 

Patty Lopez 
HR Coordinator 
Imagine Supported Living Services 
831-464-8355 ext. 112
Cell: 831-840-1623

2020 Human Race

The 2020 Human Race has chosen an apt theme for this year, "Keeping The Lights On."  That's not actually Imagine's challenge at the moment but we are very proud to be doing our share of fundraising for this community event at a high level. 

As of this writing, Imagine is the top fundraising organization in the Human Race for this year, and our generous friends have contributed more than $14,000. Look for Imagine to be featured soon in the Human Race's social media.

As we mentioned last month, Imagine faces a great deal of financial insecurity with regard to the 97% of our funding that comes from the State, but we are sufficiently funded right now to meet the test present in this moment. Nonprofits that serve those experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, job loss, depression and poverty may be serving needs entirely out of scale with their resources. We invite our donors to consider other organizations entered in the Human Race for your donations this year.  That said, we sure do appreciate everyone who has given to Imagine's campaign or who will this year.

If you would like to donate to Imagine in the Human Race, you can do so here: To view other causes you can give to, click here.
Person-Centered Evolution

The work we've been doing around person-centered thinking remains very valuable in our approach to the current epidemic. One of our challenges in keeping everyone safe and well is supporting our clients to face this pandemic as well as possible.

For some of the individuals we serve, staying home all day is the best defense against an airborne virus and a pretty attractive lifestyle choice. For others, their physical and mental health may require fresh air and exercise they can't get at home. In these cases, the choice of location for that exercise can have important protective effect. 

Imagine has considered each individual we serve for how best to maintain their health and wellness and is using a variety of approaches agency-wide. 

Although we did buy puzzles and games for all.

-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 May 5 by teleconference, of course.  If you would like to participate: email David Grady for information.

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.

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 young people during shelter-in-place.  

-Submitted by Doug
Transparency At Imagine

Our next board meeting will be held June 12, at 11. This is our annual meeting and will most likely take place remotely. It's a little hard to say with confidence what that agenda will have on it. In this format, the meeting remains open to the public. 

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

As reported here last month (and everywhere else,) the economy in California has collapsed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The consequences to the state budget are currently very hard to guess and depend in large part on the depth of the current economic distress, the degree of support from the federal government and at which pace of slowly the economy recovers.

With this level of uncertainty before us, the board passed a steady-state budget for next year with the acknowledgement that it will need revision. Proposals to expand funding for regional-center funded services have been taken off the table and cuts are possible.  Spending within the state and lobbying your federal representatives to increase state support may be the best advocacy for funding we can accomplish, along with paying attention to progress in Sacramento and Washington.  Voting is also strongly recommended.

To follow the course of policymaking, we always recommend subscribing to the CDCAN reports.  The subscription is free and you can subscribe by writing to Marty Omoto at  Donating to CDCAN is also a recommended investment in more effective advocacy.

-Submitted by Doug
Appreciating Alexa .... 

Alexa has been a great addition to Team Karen. Despite only having been with us for a few months now, she has demonstrated great leadership skills, attentiveness, and compassion with Karen as well as those on our team. She has gone above and beyond to ensure the needs of Karen are always met, been flexible with coverage needs, and always tried to problem solve by thinking outside of the box and finding great ways to address any and all issues that have arose. It has been a pleasure seeing the bond between Karen and Alexa develop over the course of their time together. Alexa, on behalf of myself and team Karen, we want to say we appreciate you and all that you do to keep this team going. It has been great getting to know you as a lead and coworker. Keep up the awesome work! It definitely does not go unnoticed :)

-Submitted by Vanessa & Team Karen

Spotlight on David ... 

David is a remarkable fellow. He gets so much joy from long walks and outings, and being with him out playing is the best. David can be very loving and empathetic, and has his own brand of healing energy. Being able to join David on his journey for the last 15 years has been a true gift and learning his language has been such an adventure. David likes to eat, drink smoothies, hang in his hot tub and soak in the sun. He  loves long walks with his ball. His parents and sisters are his biggest advocates. He's happiest nestled in comfort playing with his strings.

-Submitted by Russell and James 


Birthdays & Anniversaries


Staff Birthdays




Young Ah






Samantha P.




Staff Anniversaries


Dan -- 2 Years! 

Lorena -- 4 Years! 

Natalie G. -- 1 Year! 

Brittany -- 3 Years! 

Patty -- 8 Years!

Tatiana -- 5 Years! 

Autumn -- 3 Years!

Russell -- 15 Years!

Bianca -- 2 Years!





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