RD was granted SSI benefits after 3 years of appeals. The judge denied him at the first hearing in 2017, and Susan Carberry arranged for a federal appeal and the case was remanded back to the judge for rehearing last month. The judge then reversed himself entirely and issued a fully favorable decision. Richard will receive 3 years of retroactive benefits, around $25,000 dollars.
ALERT after-care students below say thanks and good-bye on the last day of school at Royal Palm Community High School. We have about 40 students enrolled for summer camp.
Terry Roth arranged for a fraud victim’s air conditioner to be fixed within 4 days of meeting her! The victim was beyond happy at how well she slept with a much cooler home. Terry now is assisting the victim to retrieve her funds from her bank due to a fraud case. She also is working with local resources to fix plumbing leaks and connecting her to a food pantry.
Libby Snider accompanied a man with developmental disabilities to court after he was sexually assaulted by a registered sexual predator. She helped the victim and his family to understand the criminal justice process in the final hearings. The predator was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison.
CB, 31, uses a walker and a wheelchair to get around but couldn’t get in and out of the shower. She contacted Joe Anderson, and he arranged for shower grab bars to be installed. To assist with moving from room to room, Joe also helped CB get tile installed in her home for free through a church volunteer program after her contractor stole her money and didn’t complete the job.
A.B. contacted Shannon Pretorius for education advocacy for her daughter, J.R., who has severe autism and is non-verbal. While discussing needs during the intake, Shannon stumbled across information suggesting that VOCA staff may need to advocate for J.R. as well. Libby was in the office. She listened to the situation and provided guidance. Through continued careful listening, Shannon soon realized that A.B. herself needed assistance. Her own disability was preventing her from fully caring for her daughter and also herself. She has been living with unnecessary limitations for years. Shannon will now work with both parent and child to help access resources that will improve their quality of life.
Glenn Stahl received a call from a frantic mother. Her son with autism had been severely bullied in school including various forms of cyber-bullying. Glenn and intern, Danielle Dinardo met with the family and made several referrals, including to Daniel Cadorette’s ALERT program. With Darlene Williamson’s help, they advocated with the school to get the family some assistance. This was truly a team effort!
May 9, Eldon Tome and 8 other clients participated in a focus group with Irene Sirois about Community Health Priorities and Needs.
During May, Darlene helped a parent prepare for her pre-K student’s individual education plan and attended the IEP meeting with the parents to secure exceptional student education services for their daughter. After the meeting the girl’s mother wrote: “Thank you again for everything and for being there for us yesterday. Our first meeting gave me some knowledge to prepare myself for the IEP, but having you there with us gave me confidence and security … thank you again, you will never know how much it means to us.”
Last November, Angela Van Etten reported DB’s transportation crisis. Unable to drive due to being blind, DB was about to lose her job of 22 years because she could not afford the trip co-pays. Angela successfully advocated with the Division of Blind Services (DBS) and Direct Connect to cover the co-pays and DB's job was saved! However, in April 2018 there was another transportation crisis! Direct Connect ran out of money and DB was going to lose her job for the second time! Angela and Joe worked together to approve DB for CILO financial assistance to pay for her work trips in May (her employer shuts down in the summer). Because DB was one of hundreds of riders affected by the loss of Direct Connect funding, Angela organized clients and agencies to speak at the St. Lucie County Transportation Disadvantaged May meeting. DB was among the speakers informing the board of the huge need for trips to work and challenging them to provide more employment trips. DB's message was loud and clear, Board members appeared receptive, and Joe will attend future quarterly meetings to be sure they don't forget.
Tanya Meade delivered a personal safety peer support group presentation to 7th and 8th grade students at Osceola Creek Middle School and dozens of students disclosed various types of victimizations. She educated them about what healthy relationships look like and the importance of having a personal safety plan. The educator who invited us to the school was very pleased with the presentation and will be inviting us back in the fall! Also, Tanya was provided a human trafficking overview of Palm Beach County at a symposium event.
Rene Favreau served 67 families and 195 people through our pantry during May.
On May 25th, William Genem and two advocates from other agencies were invited to speak about their agencies on local Hispanic radio 1190 am “La Primera”. During the interview William talked about the services provided at CILO, and even received calls from listeners asking questions about their particular situations. The call volume and Facebook live questions were so high, William was invited to speak again since the time allocated wasn’t enough.
Treasure Coast Stats: During May we served 205 clients in Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties, including 59 new enrollees.
Brandy Macaluso and Petra Pitkonen orchestrated the opening of the Treasure Coast office in May! We’re happily receiving clients and planning an August open house. Details coming soon! Thanks to Jacquie Shorter we have food pantry items on hand in case we receive calls from hungry clients.
Michele Sanz participated in a veteran’s outreach event May 5 at the Military Museum Park to promote the opening of the renovated museum and highlight the services available to veterans in the community. The evening concert sold over 2,000 tickets, and CILO staff were present and visible throughout talking to people in the crowd and explaining the services we provide to people with disabilities.
We are pleased to welcome 2 interns to the crime victim services program!