Celebrating Employment Successes

Employment Pic to go with storyWe don’t think anyone will dispute that 2020 has been a difficult year. However, we want to focus on the positive and celebrate some successes despite all the barriers that Covid created.  21 LIFEDesigns employment clients found gainful employment in the community they live in making competitive wages during the 2020 year.  The average rate of pay for those job placements is $12.04 an hour which is up from 2019.  Several clients were offered employment at over $17 an hour.  While 13 clients with active VR cases were laid off due to Covid, 8 of those employees  have returned back to work.  LIFEDesigns received less Vocational Rehabilitation referrals this past year and our Employment Consultants closed over 15 cases successfully.   

Our Employment Consultants have been treating all the barriers as if they are just minor inconveniences and have continued to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the support they need to continue on their path to independence.   Well done employment team!

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.