Despite having only a few weeks to prepare, Amber Lott opened her office skills boot camp June 3 in our office. Our newest staff member, Christena Perry, created a “This or That” ball (right) as an ice breaker game to kick off the camp. Students will meet throughout the month and a second camp will open July 1 and run through early August. Daniel Cadorette welcomed dozens of youth to the camp at Royal Palm High School June 10.
May 22 William Genem, Ana Pacheco and Brandy Macaluso accompanied two families to a final hearing on the case against a pedophile who sexually assaulted both family’s children. The man was arrested at a Walmart after taking up-skirt pictures of a 22-year-old.
When police looked through his phone, they found hundreds of pictures and videos showing the abuse of the family’s children while under his care. William and Brandy have been assisting these families for the past 2 years in what seemed to be an endless cycle of re-victimizations from the system.
The abuser will be spending the next 35 years in prison with no gain time and no possibility for early release. He will have both sex offender and sexual predator status and will be on probation until the day he dies.
Amber Lott recently helped a client prepare for a job interview. After he nailed the interview and got a full-time job with benefits, his father called to say he is eternally grateful.
After a man was murdered, his wife and his sisters came to Libby Snider to ask her to explain the criminal proceedings and for referrals for mental health therapy. Libby made the referrals and attended hearings with the family. One of the assailants took a plea deal for 35 years and the other case is pending.
Susan Carberry won 3 Social Security cases in May. Arthur’s case was settled so fast he didn’t qualify for retroactive benefits. Heather and Gia will get about $20,000 plus a monthly benefit ongoing and insurance.
Amber Lott helped a client (left) acquire a wheelchair so he could easily get around his home and out and about.
After a vicious assault and months of recovery, a client and his family lost everything and couldn’t afford food. Michele Sanz signed them up for food stamps and they were profusely grateful.
A client called frantic that her 101-year-old mother’s order for medical supplies was incorrect. Rebecca Jonguitud contacted Clinics Can Help, picked up the supplies and delivered them. The daughter said she was eternally grateful and Rebecca was glad to help the mother in what turned out to be the last few days of her life.
After being assaulted, a client with limited mobility needed a motorized chair and a recliner to keep his healing leg elevated. Terry Burke called a local organization to obtain a recliner which was donated and a motorized chair that was purchased at low cost. The organization made an exception to deliver both to the client even though it’s not their usual procedure. When the battery didn’t hold a charge, the manager replaced the motorized chair at no extra cost. The man also was referred to a local mechanic for inexpensive repairs to his truck.
Ana Pacheco, William Genem and Rebecca Jongitud met with Father Mario from St. John Fischer Catholic Church along with Victim Services and AVDA to discuss how to best provide services for the underserved population within the church. Father Mario who speaks to over 400 members in the Hispanic community on a typical Sunday, welcomed our suggestions and is scheduling our organizations to speak about crime victimization and independent living services. These people come from corrupt governments so it’s important to use such alliances with the church to gain their trust in service providers.
A client (right) couldn’t afford eyeglasses, so Irene Sirois helped her fill out a voucher, and now she is thrilled to see clearly.
Shannon Pretorius advocated for appropriate educational services for BK, who was not making progress at school until Shannon started attending meetings to identify needs. She asked that the service providers use updated data to make determinations about interventions and next steps every time they meet and asked questions that the parent had already asked but was not given answers to. Shannon invited district personnel to the meeting who would follow up with suggestions and be sure all questions were addressed and answered. BK is now on his way to closing the achievement gap. BK’s parent shed tears of joy and gratitude for Shannon’s help.
A 67-year-old client asked Joe Anderson to help her become more independent at home. She has physical disabilities making it extremely difficult to safely use the restroom. Joe assisted SS with applying for financial assistance to help pay for safety bars and installation in her bathroom (left). Then he worked with a contractor to install the safety bars for SS.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, Tanya Meade delivered a CILO services presentation at the Sexual Assault Response Team’s general meeting. This presentation not only resulted in a requested partnership collaboration between the National Alliance of Mental Illness and our VOCA program for clients that have experienced crime-related trauma but has led to a new system for our agencies to streamline referrals for clients that need CILO services outside of the VOCA program including from the SAIL program, Social Security assistance and the office skills boot camp.
Despite a young man being Baker acted and struggling academically, socially and emotionally, his school failed to properly support or evaluate him for special education eligibility. Darlene Williamson helped his parent set a meeting to determine eligibility, implemented a 504 accommodations plan and initiated the ESE eligibility process. Darlene will continue to assist the family and find a suitable placement that will meet the student’s educational needs.
Ana Pacheco and William Genem (right) attended the Women’s Foundation Night of Networking at the Improv Comedy Club in May and made great connections with local community partners.