Congrats Tristan!

bSsuoyTaTnO828nLtuYJ9g  Much congratulations goes out to our client, Tristan! After four hard years, Tristan graduated high school!! This large feat would normally be celebrated with an in person graduation at the school, wearing a cap and gown, and walking across a stage to receive a diploma. Sadly, due to covid, Tristan’s high school graduation was canceled. LIFEDesigns’ Team Manager, Layla, however, planned a covid friendly celebration- a surprise caravan parade! About 10 cars filled with LIFEDesigns’ staff placed the unaware Tristan and his staff at the street corner near his house. They honked their horns and held signs out of the window stating just how proud they were of Tristan’s success. Tristan’s smile could be seen from miles away. He surely was surprised and was even more surprised when he was given a gift card to his favorite fast food place. Tristan is just one of the clients we serve at LIFEDesigns and his success is one in many we hope to continue to celebrate. We are so proud of Tristan and so proud of Layla, who went above and beyond to celebrate his special day.

Ryan & Jake On Their Road to Independence

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Many of you have met Jake.  He has been a client of LIFEDesigns for many years and has even served on our Board and other committees. Ryan has been a client of LIFEDesigns for over 4 years.  Jake and Ryan met when they both joined the ALL Abilities Choir which LIFEDesigns sponsors. It was then that they began speaking about their dreams and envisioning what it’s like to be roommates with each other and having a home to share with each other. Ryan and Jake were both living with family but had dreams of living on their own in their own place. With the help of LIFEDesigns staff and their supportive families, Ryan and Jake applied for an apartment in the New Switchyard Apartments which is a South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities (SCIHO) Development for individuals and families of low income. LIFEDesigns was guaranteed 3 apartments when Switchayrd Apts was built. The 3 apartments were first promised and prioritized for LIFEDesigns clients. On Friday June 5th, Ryan and Jake officially signed their first lease and got the keys to their OWN apartment!  Jake said “I can’t believe my dreams are coming true!”

Meet Aubree Smith!

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Aubree Smith received Employment Services from LIFEDesigns and as a result has found her dream job at Goodwill, she has been employed at Goodwill for an amazing 8 years!  She works as a rack runner and loves it. Goodwill has named Aubree employee of the month twice and Aubree is super happy. LIFEDesigns was Aubree’s choice for employment services because of the options and opportunities that were presented to her. Not to mention the amazing friends and connections she has made. These connections at LIFEDesigns have also helped tremendously with quarantine in the face of COVID-19. For Aubree the virtual tours and action club meeting held through Zoom have helped her connect with her friends and with the community. Aubree would recommend LIFEDesigns to anyone with a disability looking for unemployment services or great connections because of how great her experience has been.

LBMC Alumni Grant for Purchasing PPE

Thank you to LBMC for the $300 grant that will help us purchase PPE and keep our clients and employees healthy! 

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Cindy Fleetwood our Director of Facilities graduated from LBMC in 2017. LBMC is a community leadership program that meets October through May that teaches skills needed as leaders to face 21st Century challenges, provides opportunity for networking, and includes participants from all sectors including non-profits, for-profits, government and education. One of the goals of the program is for participants to form groups and construct a real-world project, sort of an applied thesis, and present it to the class at the end of the course.  

Grant for Security System Upgrades to Group Homes

Anthony_4608pxWe all can relate to how quickly technology changes. As a result, LIFEDesigns needs to make some upgrades and improvements to our fire and security systems in all five of our group homes this year. Our current security systems use a traditional land line to connect with emergency services in the event of an emergency. The state now requires upgrades to security systems that add the ability for cellular monitoring to the current fire and security systems. In addition, one of our group homes requires the replacement of a fire panel as well. The total project will cost $5,607.50.

SCI REMC’s Operation RoundUp awarded a grant of $2,000 toward this project. To learn more about SCI REMC or Operation RoundUp, visit sciremc.com or sciremc.com/roundup. We’re so incredibly grateful to have their support. These improvements will help to keep people like Anthony (pictured above) safe in their homes.

If you would like to make a gift to help cover the remaining funds needed for this project ($3607.50), you can mail a donation to: 200 E. Winslow Rd., Bloomington, IN 47401 with a note including “Group Home Security Upgrade” or make a gift online through our website and add the comment “Group Home Security Upgrade”.

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Meet Stacey

portrait We feel honored to know Stacey now for several years. Since getting to know her, we’ve been able to support Stacey to help her find a job she enjoys at McDonald’s. Like many people, when she first learned of the COVID-19 pandemic and started to hear about the effects it was going to have on local businesses, she was afraid that she might lose her job or be laid off.

Recently, before any news of COVID-19, Stacey had set one of her new goals related to employment: “To advocate for herself at work to learn more skills.” Stacey’s primary responsibilities at McDonald’s had been working in the lobby. When the lobby closed because of COVID-19, she thought she wasn’t going to be able to keep working. To her surprise and delight, she was ecstatic to learn that she is now considered an “essential employee”! To earn this designation, Stacey had expressed her interest in learning new skills with her employer. As a result she had learned to make fries and help with other things in the kitchen so she would still be able to work. We’re so happy for her, and honored to have been able to provide her the support she needed to gain confidence and advocate for her own interests.