MOHR impact
October 2020
Selling buildings, MRCI 'all-in' for community-based
A move away from facility-based disability services has been discussed for several years at Mankato-based MRCI, but it was COVID-19 which nudged the 67-year-old MOHR member to make the leap.

“For our organization, the time was right,” said MRCI CEO Brian Benshoof, leader of what was an almost $100 million nonprofit before COVID-19 rolled in.

The provider is closing buildings in Chaska, Shakopee, Rosemount, Fairmont and New Ulm, and consolidating two buildings into one for its Mankato headquarters. The change impacts about 1,400 program participants. Many structures are for sale.
Thrill of return to ProAct in Shakopee
“It’s real. It’s happening. We are starting to come back together,” said direct service professional Liza Svhiel.
This is the atmosphere at ProAct in Shakopee as 54 participants are returning to classes and work at the site near Canterbury Park, she explains. -more-
People excited to be back at Rise Spring Lake Park
What day is better or more fun than Christmas or your birthday? If you ask people at Rise Spring Lake Park, they might answer: “The day I got to go back to work!”
WDIO TV - Interact art virtual to Duluth
Life enriching theater, extended talk
Almanac North interviewed the director and actors with BOLD-choice Theatre Company, a MOHR award winner, as well as MOHR President Julie Johnson.
2020 MOHR Outstanding Disability Employers
After deliberations from the judges, MOHR has selected eight Outstanding Disability Employer Award winners for 2020. Five are from the metro area, and one each from Fairmont, Duluth and Buffalo.

Now, for the winners and the MOHR members who serve them:

  • Activar, Inc., Rise
  • Cub Foods-Buffalo, Functional Industries
  • Ferlic Filter LLC, Merrick, Inc.
  • Lakeview Methodist Health Services, STEP Inc.
  • Lunds & Byerlys, Opportunity Partners
  • Target-Duluth, Trillium Works!
  • Unidine-The Glenn Minnetonka, Chrestomathy, Inc.
  • Westwood Early Childhood Center, Partnership Resources, Inc.
In Eveleth, DSP Week fanfare was spread over an entire week for the 21 staff at East Range DAC (ERDAC).
Muffins and juice, caramel apples, treat bags, subs, chips, desserts and M&Ms which stand for “magnificent” and “marvelous,” showered employees with admiration.
“I do appreciate all of them,” said Executive Director Robin Harkonen. One staffer has been with the DAC for more than 40 years and the majority of the group has 15 or more years of service. She said it’s like a family in many ways, even outside of work. ERDAC was serving 96 participants before COVID-19 and now serves 27.
In the metro area, TSE offered gift cards to staff with notes sharing wishes that they could be together. “This year is different that we do not get to celebrate as a team. Hopefully soon we will be able to have a well-deserved party. In the meantime, please use this gift card to buy something special for yourself.”
TSE thanked staff for all they do to support the people the nonprofit is honored to serve. “Your work is appreciated always, but especially this week! Thank you!”
MOHR's national association, ANCOR, is requesting DSP of the Year nominations for Minnesota. They need to know about exemplary stand-outs who go above and beyond to provide excellent service in the profession. Nominations are due by November 30.
The Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation - To Advocate and support members in providing meaningful services to persons with disabilities and communities served.
TSE staff received gift cards for DSP Week.
DSP Week in media
Rochester hosted a news conference with its mayor and state represenatative. Watch here | KAAL TV interview

Celebrating direct support professionals

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Self-advocates offer vote by mail help
Encourage people with disabilities to vote in the upcoming election. Join virtual training sessions. -Learn more-
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