August 18, 2020
Dear OP Staff and Friends,
Thank you to each and every one of you who reached out to your lawmakers and Governor Walz in recent days regarding the difficult position of disability day and employment service providers, which have been mostly closed and largely unfunded since March. Last week, the legislature used their most recent special session to approve $30 million in emergency CARES Act funding for disability day and employment service providers!
As we learn what this will mean exactly for Opportunity Partners, we are encouraged by these developments and pleased that our community rallied around people with disabilities and the importance of our services. Our heartfelt thanks to you for helping make this happen!
In other positive news, the Minnesota Department of Human Services has lifted some of the restrictions for day services including removing the 50-person maximum limit to allow for greater flexibility for larger buildings (the 50 percent of license capacity limit, including staff, remains.) Day services can now also be provided in both facility and community settings on the same day.
What does this mean for Opportunity Partners?
- Our Asplin and Bren locations have already reopened for work with limited capacity and we’ll be looking to gradually and safely increase the numbers at these sites.
- Safety continues to be our top priority for resuming services, and we are able to offer on-site services for those who are able to follow safety guidelines including wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance. With this new level of permission from DHS, we are hopeful that we'll be able to begin reopening our locations at Koch Campus in Minnetonka and Karlins Center in Plymouth in a limited manner in the coming weeks. There are still many specifics to work out, including transportation, staffing and safety protocols for those locations.
- As always, OP will continue to follow all requirements regarding capacity, group size, duration of shifts, health screening protocols, social distancing and other measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
I want to thank our OP families and friends who have remained patient as we've gone through this together. And I'm so proud of our dedicated and amazing staff who are keeping things running smoothly during this challenging time. Many have stepped up to work in new roles, and their flexibility and commitment is greatly appreciated!
Thanks again for your ongoing support, and please stay well!
Interim President & CEO