William Genem received an FBI referral about K.O., who had $1.7 million stolen by gypsies. The criminals pled guilty June 27 and since then William has been helping K.O. live independently again. He has arranged for therapy sessions, connected KO to Vocational Rehabilitation and arranged for Susan Carberry to educate her on how much money she can make without compromising her SSDI benefits. K.O. also was referred to CILO’s pantry and budgeting classes to learn to get out of credit card debt.
Rebecca Jonguitud answered a frantic caller whose EBT card was declined at the grocery store. Her food stamps save money she needs for dialysis treatments. Rebecca searched the EBT database, found the problem and fixed it. T.P. received $83 for June and was approved for $192 monthly July thru May 31, 2020.
NOT DUMMIES: Many of our staff attended and passed CPR certification.
After falling over a parking bumper and suffering a brain bleed, a client asked her development to move the obstacle. The HOA president said no. Then Brandy Macaluso wrote to the HOA president to educate him on housing laws and disability accommodations. After a few weeks of letters and an exchange of calls, he finally removed the bumper.
Darlene Williamson advocated for a student in an IEP case where the school did not follow procedures, and the case “fell through the cracks”. Darlene assisted the parent in a meeting with a district representative to address concerns. The district corrected the problems and scheduled an IEP meeting in August so the student will have the appropriate placement, supports, and services to meet his needs when school begins.
We have about 65 students in our three free camps. One parent shared this note with Daniel Cadorette:
“To whom it may concern: Joshua enjoys attending the ALERT summer program. He is very eager to get up in the morning and go to the camp, He enjoys the friends that he has met there and likes working on his employment skill training. I have not seen Joshua happy about going places all day in a long time as I have this summer with him going to the summer camp program.
“I wanted to say thank you for all that you do Daniel and your team. I can trust that Joshua is going to be safe when I drop him off and I know that he is in good hands. As a mom of an adult with special needs it is very important to trust where you have your child at, and I do trust you guys. Joshua seems very secure and confident and independent and likes to do more things independently and I think he has acquired these skills while being in the program. Once again I wanted to say thank you for all that you do and caring for the students Joshua really does care about you guys and so do we the Foster Family.”
Respectfully, Darlene Foster
Amber Lott and Christena Perry asked students at the Office Skills Boot Camp to make posters (right) to identify their strengths. Then students identified and wrote down their peers’ strengths. The youth also tidied up our pantry and organized donated clothing we have for clients to utilize for job interviews.
Brandy Macaluso received a message through CILO’s Facebook page for a 70-year-old+ woman whose emotional support animal was removed due to aggression and excessive barking. Her HOA agreed to let the dog come home if the woman could provide proof of obedience training. She reached out to several dog trainers but they would not help her unless she paid $200+. Brandy reached out to her network of crisis canines and the South Florida LINK coalition’s network and located a trainer who trained the pet for free.
Amber Faulhaber started working for CILO June 21 and immediately was challenged by a client who wanted to quit therapy. Also the woman and her grand-daughter are our Season to Share family, and we needed to work closely with them to satisfy reporting requirements. Amber established a great connection with the mother as well as her granddaughter, and persuaded them to renew counseling. We are on track with this family now and Amber will follow through with all of the consumer’s service needs for Victim Compensation and Season to Share.
Ana Pacheco received a call from victim R.M, who has physical and mental health disabilities. He was distraught that his father, his primary caretaker, recently passed away. R.M.’s sister violated the will by cutting him out. Through Ana and the staff at CILO, R.M. is now working with an attorney on the case, received a brand new wheelchair, a walker, compression socks, was assisted through the Gift of Sight Program for new eyeglasses and is receiving food.
A client who has been living at the Lewis Center since December, moved into a new home July 1 due to Amber Lott’s tenacity.
CM, 13, and his guardian contacted Joe Anderson about needing a lightweight wheelchair to replace one he got from our loan closet years ago. CM worked with Joe to apply for funds and purchase a lightweight wheelchair that fits him much better and is easier for his guardian to manage.
Tanya Meade (left) and Lucas O’Ryan, transgender youth program coordinator with Compass Gay Lesbian Community Center, delivered a Human Trafficking/Support Group presentation to the staff and their family members at Craig Goldenfarb’s office.
Shannon Pretorius advocated for ZC at his annual IEP meeting. During the review, Shannon noted that ZC’s new academic strengths and goals were the same as they were last year. Shannon asked why there was no noted progress, yet the progress notes coming home each quarter were marked “satisfactory”. The team hadn’t noticed that the goals were the same. They collected more data, and at a follow up meeting, determined that the goals were still appropriate. The director of the school also expressed concern about the misleading information and shared changes that will happen next school year as a result. The director asked for input from the parent and from Shannon and a brainstorming session ensued. This meeting allowed Shannon to advocate for more students than just ZC, even though ZC’s situation was the one directly addressed.
Terry Burke is aiding a client who was abused by a car dealership’s employees. They sold him a vehicle that he can’t make payments on. Terry is negotiating for a solution without litigation.
After facilitating a support group on healthy relationships with a teen group, Michele Sanz was approached by a girl who had participated in CILO support groups the previous year, and now was volunteering at the facility. The girl thanked Michele profusely, saying that she had gotten a lot out of the support groups.
CV fled her country due to political persecution after her four brothers were murdered. Then she was a victim of an armed assault in the U.S. Libby Snider found a therapist who took the woman’s insurance to assist her, two children and husband.
Irene Sirois facilitated 10 successful independent living skills classes; one client learned about hurricane preparedness and 9 others were taught about food safety.
Isaac called because he has lost 15 lbs. in the past month due to a stroke, which keeps him from cooking. He also can barely read and struggled to make even a phone call. Since prepared meals are not what we do, I took Isaac's phone number and called the local office of a major charity that delivers meals to the elderly. The CEO said she were going on vacation, and would look into Isaac's situation when she returned. We never heard back from her. However, Maite Reyes-Coles through our CDBG program had meals delivered to Isaac starting in a few days.
Susan Carberry is working with client Daniel to appeal a denial of Disabled Adult Child benefits due to having been filed 3 months after the time limit. Daniel began collecting SSI at 23 shortly after being released from a court ordered stay at the state psychiatric hospital. The hospital only has a computer record of his inpatient stay with no records to his treatment for schizophrenia in the late 1980s. SSA will not concede the severity of his condition at that time without substantial records. But, the court system still has records of his commitment, with associated psychiatric reports, so Susan is hoping to get a reversal on that basis. Daniel’s mother is in her 80s and is anxious for him to get this benefit as it eliminates the asset limit associated with SSI benefits and would allow him to inherit her estate without penalty. Approval of Disabled Adult Child benefits would also double the dollar amount he receives each month, as well as providing Medicare coverage.