Last day of after-school program.
CEO Report for 2017-1018
As Hurricane Irma threatened last summer, the CILO staff hurried to call 1,000+ families to ensure they had evacuation plans and or were registered with special needs shelters or had supplies enough to hunker down at home. Staff double-checked to ensure families had the phone numbers and website and email addresses needed to recover after the storm. Just before landfall, deliveries of food were made to some households who had nothing.
In some cases staff put up shutters for those who couldn’t and even made sure they had a generator.
In addition to damage to homes and apartments, our clients lost days if not weeks of work and many spent all of their savings evacuating only to come home to a leaking roof and a refrigerator full of spoiled food.
CILO raised tens of thousands of dollars to keep families in their homes and eating regularly. Our food pantry was never needed more, and we paid many electrical bills and rent payments while families got back on their feet.
And though it has been almost a year, our team is still occasionally assisting people whose property and livelihoods were affected by Irma. We recently helped an elderly woman with a disability who was about to be evicted partially because of fines associated with a tree toppled on to her home by Irma.
The determined and resilient staff response is a perfect example of how CILO employees serve and protect families with one or more disabilities throughout Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties.
CILO staff provided free services to 4,127 clients from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. Highlights include:
- 1,920 Victims of a crime were assisted – sadly 1,674 were new victims
- Attendance at our free summer camp was almost triple last year; 62 youth participated in our after-school and summer camp programs where they had fun and learned life and social skills and how to find, get and keep a job. During June, 31 youth reported that they had achieved at least one goal in their improvement plan.
- Also during the summer we taught an office skills boot camp -- in our office.
- 287 Families received meat, vegetables, bread, eggs and canned goods through our pantry.
- $200,000+ in Social Security back payments were won for 16 clients plus $17,000 a month in monthly benefits.
- We advocated for 242 children and their parents who were not receiving their legal accommodations in school.
- Through the Palm Beach Post Season to Share Program we received $40,000+ to help a woman trapped in poverty who adopted 3 special needs children when her sister could not take care of them.
- 130 Families were signed up for food stamps equal to $13,883 monthly going forward for them to buy food.
- We renewed all of our local, state and federal contracts and added several donors.
- A $50,000 endowment was created to attract investments in CILO’s future.
- Our website was redesigned to increase utility by those with disabilities and to be frequently updated.
- And, we opened a new Treasure Coast office in Port St. Lucie.
Would you like to join us in our mission to aid those with disabilities? We welcome your support, and I invite you to become our partner in promoting independence for people with disabilities by becoming a CILO member through making a tax-free secure donation on our website at www.cilo.org. Or call us to volunteer – 561-966-4288.
Dan E. Shorter, CEO
Joseph R. Fields, Jr., Esq., President
Fields Legal, LLC
Ellen Feir, Esq. Vice President
Lisa Kline Goldstein, Esq. Secretary
LKG Law PA
Steve G. Vlahakis, Treasurer
Palm Springs Leisure Services
Medical Transportation Management (MTM), Inc
Derek T. Horne
Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity
During October 1989, a grass roots group of individuals with disabilities and representatives of key Palm Beach County agencies created the Coalition for Independent Living Options, Inc., (CILO) as an advocacy organization for children and adults with disabilities. CILO incorporated during January 1990 and elected a board of directors. Its inception and growth paralleled the passage and early implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. CILO has “grown up” with the ADA and comfortably carries out its role as the primary local source of ADA information.
CILO’s mission is “Promoting Independence for People with Disabilities.”
The purpose of CILO is twofold – to assist individuals with disabilities in reaching their goals for independence and to create societal change to promote acceptance and opportunities for people with disabilities to be fully included in all aspects of community life. To that end, CILO provides a broad range of services for persons of any age with any type of disability in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties.
The majority of CILO’s staff and board members have disabilities.
Together we assisted more than 5,000 families in the past year -- for free!