Sunday, May 15th


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Good morning and welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego. Public service presentation of the and a count San Diego radio stations. I'm Gary late. All of guiding hands is a local organization that provides a variety of services and programs for people with developmental disabilities. Such as autism epilepsy cerebral palsy as well as intellectual disabilities. They've been on the show before and I'm happy to have them back again today to talk about what they're doing. At home of guiding hands and talk about their upcoming fund raiser. Joining us this morning it's almost guiding Hance president and CEO mark Claus and board of directors member Jim O'Grady. Bookmark welcome Jim thank you thanks Gary. Good to have you on the show it mark great to see you again it's been a little over a year thinks it has been here we appreciate you having us back on and it's always great to be on your stations and Greeks view of him and Jim pleasure meeting you as well. For anybody who may have missed the last time you were on anybody else who may not know anything about home of almost guiding hands how to market Phyllis in a little bit about the organization. Sure I'd love to do that oh guiding hands has been in an organization sporting individuals with developmental disabilities. Since 1961. And we began providing services. Primarily annie's county in 1967. The original aim at that time was these Lutheran home for retarded children. Back in 1967. That was cutting edge there was a fourteen acre campus located in lakeside. So we've we've seen a lot of changes over the years the last fifty years and and and sporting individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. And now you're not you're not located in in makes yellow county aren't we we provide services in imperial and San Diego County. I'm currently we support just over 16100 people a year children. In our early intervention program which is late April of the free program. Respite services residential services. So can become a whole gamut if you well you know from from birth and oldest resident we sport right now is 84. Are you catering more to two children and adults or is it that equaled it it's about equal you know our early intervention program as I secretary it's if it's a program that is first of stories of these these are obviously young children that have either been diagnosed with a developmental delay or developmental delays. Or a developmental disability in that program we go into homes. With our with our certified staff are all licensed teachers. Work with the parents worked with a child with with the ultimate goal of bringing these children up to age level by the by the age of what what is via the mission. Almost cans a mission of home banning hands is is really quite simple if it is to improve the lives of those Suisse and and we. That's some very broad but for our our goal is to work with the families work with each individual and have them assist us and in determining. What quality signals so what what do they want out of their lives they've been around for many years many years almost fifty men and there will be are fit for us. And death again you started out lakeside and now you're all over the county case you you serve children and adults all of the county yes we do what other. Major changes have ever occurred over the last almost fifty years. I think there's been a lot of changes I've been in this field. 35 years full time so even even the last 35 years tremendous changes. More individuals living with their family and home of guiding hands as the name implies was was really focused on residential homes. In the early days and even over the last 3040 years. Primary focus was was residential and and that while that mean you're still a key component. Or services. We offer a number of other services. To allow people to live independently. In their own apartments. Maybe provide support to parents to have their loved ones continue to live with them so it is it's really changed it it definitely it. And we'll get in some of those programs bring more little more in death and justice just few minutes. Similar a couple of things that change that I noticed on your website over the last. Fifty years ago is you have assumed operations of supporting alternative solutions. Aniston operations of the Charles I channel with foundation what what does that mean can you hold guiding hands in and who are these organizations. Supporting alternative solutions was he providers have provided residential homes a small four person or six person homes. For children and and children are defined as that is individuals under the age of 22 and that pretty much aligns with the school systems. Smaller organization. Great services great reputation. But was really lacking the ability to do some fundraising to an increased quality of services that they were looking for. And also you know just the oversight and regulatory requirements. Of being a non profit is pretty difficult. So we assume that operation about five years ago. So we're serving children in residential homes also helped us to experience and a respite services that we provide. Two that's that's been a good fit for arsonists also allowed us to provide continuing here. Residential perspective. For children that age are at the age of 22 for children's homes. We have 25 homes that support a bill so. Currents could very carport HEH like or services like quality of services that we provide some of it strategically. And an operational excellence for everybody. Not long viewed in the film that we can't would be six years this August. Moved here from Illinois and I have not looked back one day actually it especially in the wintertime here. I think it is yeah now. You mentioned you've been doing this kind of work though from what 35 year 35 years yes always always in this field always in this field I'm sort of volunteering and high school. Working with the individuals and in community placement I've done just about every job. That HE chats and I've I've driven Abbas I've been Abbas a you have worked residential. Done janitorial work I've worked in what was it that time called a sheltered workshop. Worked residential as I said have done just a little bit of everything and I really enjoyed it my background economic team and finance. Which sounds like kind of an odd background to get in this field but. You know we we are business. And we just have a couple different mission one is to provide good quality supports. And the second courses to fulfill our mission of providing. Ways to improve people's lives. Jim you are. Member of the board of directors. That's correct I've been a member of the board since 2008. And few years ago was president and vice president before that. Of of almost any chance yes to how long have you been with them. I since stupid 2008 to actually my term will be coming to an Indian in June and we're only allowed to serve two terms. But they can come back after a year Gary. 24 year terms and wait a year you can wait a year and we can try to recruit Jim back onto the board. So what do you think about that yeah. We'll we'll we'll see who. I don't see you then have one where now their eyes definitely wanna stay involved with almost guiding hands. Truly enjoyed my time with them have knew about them long before. I became a board member and you know I'm just amazed every everytime I go to one of the homes or go to a board meeting at at just to. How much difference. People who work there. Are making in people's lives. Well what was it that drew you to almost got enhance. A friend of mine I was in. One less club and a friend said Jim I wanna take you breakfast. And he's a bad side. In debt I I knew that he was involved. A wonderful hearted guy and actually two of club members were. Also on our home guiding him toward him. They ganged up on me and told me about all the great things they do and said you know we'd like you do. Think of think about joining the board and I talked to smother people did some research about. Home guiding hands and I thought yeah this is an organization I would love to be part of him I haven't haven't looked back. That's right now I'm not mistaken I think I read somewhere that you were part of the interview panel involved in hiring mark is president and CEO. It's true it's it's June and death. Yeah that was one of the out of the great decisions I think the board maintain. In in fact we talked to a number of good people but mark really stood out to get fit great fit thank you. Now you have you big event a big event coming up. Next month we're gonna talk about that in just a few minutes but let's let's talk about some of your your programs and services for us let's start with you residential homes. Great are of residential. Gary we we currently own and operate 31 homes in San Diego County six of those are homes for children. 45 those are home struggle their whole community based homes. If you drive by any of our home you would never know that. That they are owned and operated by each you to look just like your house. They're for personal or six person homes staffed 24 hours today we have it is shift schedules if you will so there's no living in. Staff and into the homes. But you know our youngest resident right now is eight. One over children's homes in the oldest resident we currently support is 84. And one of marble columns. You pair people up in in each each home. According to an age. Today have a say in anything they do have a say you know ended the end of the process is. In our funding for residential comes through these sandy regional summer. So sandy regional center determined first thing they do is determine eligibility. They offer choices to parents offering also choices to the individuals in. Different providers different organizations like teach you to provide support services and Leo we encourage parents to. To go I'll take a look at some other providers and what they think is best fall for their child or for the individual as well. And then we'd we'd look at to what we have available. And offer some choices you know whether it's you know single room could be a roommate. Some of our homes or homes were all men. Summer. Women's homes summer you both male and female homes and and really depends on them on the fat you know it. You can imagine live with five other people you know you have to like your roommate Brian de LA and that's important. As far as programs with in your residential program Nuba and there are certain activities that that. You residents continue pardon. Lot of our residents. Work in the community they may attend different it's based space services. We will work very closely with other organizations nonprofits we currently do not provide. Any day services are they programming. But it could be vocational training through the arc of San Diego it could be. Job placement in preparation for. Through another organization which is called C Madeleine Sophie centuries county. Actually had him on the shaft here you re doing a great organizations. Many of harsh nor in our children's home fills those individuals those kids are going to school so you know traditional school calendars. Summers off weekends off. Spring break holidays and so forth so. If it really depends on what the individuals looking to do with what they what their desires in in. It went to job whether that's volunteer activities whether school. It's really a tremendous. Amount of options for them. We also provide in a residential homes coordinating services for our occupational therapy physical therapy and in many cases speech therapy. 25 or homes also have Asia registered. Dietitian available. Good healthy eating food preparation. Just in a lot of lot of things that you and I take for granted right. So we have staff that assist with those basic life skills than also consultant coming in and buy good quality of life enhancements for the people we support. So everybody had it cheer residential homes that are there then referred to. By the regional center that is correct that is correct thus ended regional senator. There's 41 regional centers of the state of California ascendant regional center provides coordinated case management services to about 25000 people in San Diego and imperial counties. All of guiding hand supports about 16100 of that 2500 people. They mentioned earlier. Touched on yet the early childhood development program. We talk a little bit more about that he had that it in his CEO we organization you hate you hate to say you have a favorite program but you know what's not. What's not to like about working with little kids you know it's it really is a great thing we we currently. Work with about 400 families a year. As I mentioned these are children from the from birth to three years of age. There have been diagnosed with developmental delays or developmental disabilities. And it really front loading of those resources at the age of three these children if they're not released level move over to the school systems. Very costly. To bring these kids up to age level phew well so we worked. Early intervention services we were in the family's homes you know. Part of our requirement is that mom or dad or family members there at all times as wells were not just working with street with a child an hour or two or three hours a week. We're really working with the family. We give them the tools to assist your child to become. More age appropriate if you well. You know success rates for children that have developmental ladies. As pretty significant. I'm a personal side my grandson. Went through this program. Have some speech Feliz has walls. Some challenges with with balance and so forth and money's out at the age of three either third or they've heard on. Regardless of where you are in the process you've done it a series and VVV program stops. When you see you live you my grand ceremonies three he was asked each and so those parent and grandparent really is really special program. And kind of developmental disabilities are we talking about it and the whole spectrum is a whole spectrum you know looking at two. The younger children that good that we're working with. Whether it's in early intervention program or be. Residential homes. We're seeing more and more children on the autism spectrum that it really is a significant. Significant number compared to what was even five or ten years of right now so while the kids are having have. More significant behavioral challenges. And that's something that's that's fairly new century that field. Another program of yours is your in home respite program. In home respite mum respite is in a by definition it's of some. You know in the easiest way for me to explain that program. Carrier if you know you've you've you've got daughters you know he white and white community. And you wanted to get out for dinner you most likely called a girl next door some fourteen or fifteen year old they come over to babysit. You're set you can get out for a couple of hours it was a nice break away from your children and in due time spent with your wife. Are respite program. Provides that same services but with a higher quality of staff field staff that have gone through a background checks that have experience working with children. And adults you know with developmental disabilities. Behavior challenges and so forth so. So to program that is also monitored and monitored in funded through state of California. But it provides trained. Staff. To go and your homes in an interview and you know of any family operate that thing. And they go through rigorous. Check out there they go through our orientation program they they go through you know background checks that are fingerprinted. So. We go through it. The train that they go through is equivalent to the trend that all of our staff cope. So fans can feel safe correct. Knows that their kids and it adds correct and we're we support. About 600 families. And send him an apparel companies that program if it's a pretty large program. It makes sense for families I think everybody needs a break is as much as I love my kids the only I always need to get away every now in this round so it is it really. Helps to keep the families together in the and that's very important important for us and obviously very important for families and and it makes good financial sense in it for family. Can't support. Their loved ones you know whether it's an eight year old and eighteen year old. You know if if the alternative is residential which which we talked about that each year which provides its very costly you know so this is a good way to. Provide good services support to family. And fulfill the needs of keep their local home. Before we start talking about a big event coming up next month one more programs Florida. I ask you about manage your life planning project. What is that like flaming cross the project it's. Six weeks sessions. Coordinated. By our staff and we bring in. Professionals book of different backgrounds were boring and attorneys would bring an estate planners would bring them. Experts regarding trusts. We bring him. Educators to talk about. The education system in and it's really working with families. Two assists and and planning where they are today and where they want to go in into the future. Lot of families our unsure about what options are out there. Whether it's funding options whether it's different residential living options. What opportunities are for their son or daughter to figure to have a job to be competitively. Be competitive you know it competitively employed in our community. Source staff or medical services that are very very small groups I would call in support groups but believe me many times turn into support group yeah. Lot of families. Have a lot of questions and as I said you know I've been in this industry for 35 years. Like any business and it takes you awhile to figure ways or well. And who asked a question so. Source help help families to kind of break down those barriers. In addition to people that that they need to be speaking. And I year year big event thing that we've found mention now couple times coming up June 11. It is your I annual cabaret rouge gala us June 11. Years if you doing this. This is our 42 year of having a a a gallon Euro fund raising event of this nature. The June 11 events. Is is titled cabaret rouge. Were holding that event at the beautiful. US grand hotel starting at 1030 in downtown yes. Starting at 530 cocktail silent auction. Socialize our then we move into the dining room for you know for great meal entertainment. Some fundraising. They answering what we're really looking forward to and areas are because of that you know each year we we tried to. Rays are meant to over a 100000 dollars and all those proceeds through correctly into providing good quality of life enhancements to to the people support so it doesn't go to any one particular program into an almost that enhance it doesn't and you know in every year we we report back to know our donors and also to gala attendees on how we spent that money the previous year. You know HGH in my vision and why why I moved to San Diego there it was to enjoy everything that we have. Everything that San Diego has to offer you know it's the Padres game it's. You know it's going to the beach it's it's it's the weather and other there's so much to do and when you look at the the requirements. Of many of the programs that we operate. To be compliant to meet those those standards is pretty easy to do you know one of the standards and went over residential settings for example is. That every individual has to. Have the opportunity to go on one community outing a month you know and a community outing could be defined as getting in a fan. Driving through McDonald's drive through. And going home and eating your meal that satisfies that requirement of a community out. When you look at our children's homes when you look at are built homes. They're schedules are busier than mine you know it's it's five days a week at six days a week there's always something going on. You know it's going to the park it's going to a Padres game. It's going to SeaWorld is going to church and also we really believe that. Our residents people we should support need to be if if they choose to be. Active participants in our community can enjoy everything that that we enjoy you know being sandy agents you know that's why we live here. The other thing is. As I explain to people if I only got to leave my house once a month. For an outing. I would I guarantee I would be exhibiting some very significant behaviors. I only getting out once a month so yes of funds that we raised the gala. Go to support those kind about missiles quality of life enhancements. That the state. In our in our federal government doesn't deemed to be necessary. I don't believe that they are an axis. If you're going to be an active participant in your community you should enjoy everything that your community right now. And Gary if you get a chance to visit their homes or meet any any of the folks that HGH either provide services for war. Live in one of our homes. You'll see very happy people and it's because of those extra services in the the care of the staff that makes all the difference. Paris you know we've we've got staff here you know we have a group of staff members would call the 25 your club news channel. That membership is being employed by HEH for over 25 years that that may group continues to grow. Last I looked we have about 32 members. Also so we have a lot of seniority and our staff can we have some staff that. Have been their over forty years with us as a lot. Says lot about now about home dining hands you know and we. We we work hard to form a good team you know we worked very closely with the regional center we work closely with parents would work closely with the individuals we support. You know and our staffer critical of that and believe me they do what we want to build it they do what needs to be done and they're not doing it for the money. They're doing it for the carrard. And the passion that they break which. Now it now Jim at the gala coming up next month you are one of the honorees are she my wife Jean and myself yes and what what does that mean you'd be honored in this way. Well it's it's pretty special Iowa I was blown away when I got the invitation because. I've attended all of a gallon since I've been on the board and they've been wonderful dance and the people who have been honored to have been just amazing people so I've. Feel very honored and humbled at the same same time to be recognized by HGH. And this is the first time that this is happening for. Oh yes seeing on a yes so means a lot. Yeah a great deal and now. You know five some my close friends will be there around my daughter's flying in from Denver and her husband might. Son and his wife are coming down so it's it's going to be very special night well great and again that is a June 11. 211530. US grand hotel where can people get tickets. Couple ways you can go onto our web site WWW guiding hands dot org where you can call our office at 619. 9382850. And anybody that answers the phone our development staff and I can assist. Now you are nonprofit organization and and volunteers are the backbone. Of so many if not at all. Yes non profit outlook kind of volunteer opportunities to offer we have a number of opportunities. Part of the challenge that we face scary. We would love to see more volunteers and some of our programs. Unfortunately they're so highly regulated. The background checks to fingerprint there's a tremendous cost associated with fat. Providing for excerpts opportunities. For volunteers though is you know we have the gala coming up or is looking for gala committee members were looking for. Gallup volunteers video helpers. You know in addition to the gala we have a couple of other events we have every year. October 28 we're having a golf tournament. This here world and atonement terrorists a little bit north we've typically held in these counties were just random. Try different venues and in and we have a committee for that we have volunteers that help them play in the committee we have volunteers that day of about a van to and we also have to cover third signature event is the Randy Jones. Walk and fund run for independence. Two at large. Large need a bad day for volunteers. As and Canada any special requirements to become a volunteer. Here with with those of you know what we're looking forward there are people that are committed to HGH is mission wanna make a difference in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. But those that that volunteer their actually working with. Some your residence there's a little bit more expensive. Quite a bit more and and part of that is. Just the nature of providing residential care for a quarter or you know volunteering to do respite it's very difficult trivial individual and that can only volunteer. And somebody's home you know absolutely be checks and balances in the background checks her room as an employer. If it's costly for each year so we we don't use very many volunteers and programs services but we do in fundraising. Our defense. And the holidays we we have a lot of vote volunteers coming in and adopt each home for example. OK so we are at a time and but one more time Europe 42 annual gala June 11 and US grand downtown yes. And tickets tickets. Website is guiding hand style work where you call our office. 619. 9382850. And are you on social media and yes we are FaceBook. Is another never replace find information about home. Mark pleasure seeing you again as as always and Jim great meeting you. Thanks for all you do at home of guiding hands good luck with the gala and I'm sure Jim. It's gonna go just fine in and congratulations to you on being honored for thank you so much Carrie thank you Gary appreciate it could change again. That concludes another additional living better and San Diego the opinions expressed are living better San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of staff and management. A the end of comes San Diego radio stations episodes of living at San Diego are available on the station's website. Join me next week when my guest will be from the center on policy initiatives. Until then I'm very late have a great week.