Amber Lott coordinated 14 staff, interns and board members to give Thanksgiving food to 90+ of our families. Clients came by bus, bike, foot, car, and Palm Tran and about 30 deliveries were made. The Fresh Market of Stuart gave us a cart full of baked goods and breakfast pastries to fuel our workers. It was a great day filled with gratitude and smiles. The Alert had its own version on the 16th when 10 families received food.
(Terry and Libby fill their cars with food that is to be delivered to families in Treasure Coast (above))
Michele and Amber ran a successful fundraiser at the Summer Crush Winery in Fort Pierce. There was a fantastic turn-out and many participants were very open to donating for a great cause. $452 was raised and Michele spoke to many attendees about CILO services and gave out numerous pamphlets as well. (below)
During a home visit, Brandy Macaluso learned that senior citizen M.L. was living in a hostile environment where his landlord was stealing his pain medication and harassing him. Plus his lease was ending soon. M.L. had no family he could rely on and became frightened after his landlord repeatedly came to his house to yell at him. With the help of William Genem and intern Denise Coney we found M.L. a home that he loved and would cost less than his current rent. He moved in within days. Additionally, we referred him to Florida Rural Legal Aid after his landlord was withholding M. L’s security deposit and to Human Services to assist with the first, last, and security deposit. Numerous times M.L. thanked us for our quick response to his needs.
J.C. is an elder veteran victim of domestic abuse by his drug addicted son. When J.C came to CILO his son had already been arrested after a standoff with PBSO where helicopters and K9 units were dispatched. When the dust settled the abuser had left behind a lot of damage in the house as well as two very traumatized parents. J.C. wanted to get a restraining order in order to ensure his house would remain safe, but Mrs. C. was unsure about a restraining order because she wanted to make sure she could still see her son. William Genem provided Mrs. C. with information about the patterns of an abusive relationship to help her understand the magnitude of the situation and how dangerous a physically abusive situation could get. William also assisted the family in filing for victim compensation, so that some of the damages could be reimbursed and fixed. William gave the family a referral for family therapy to help them deal with trauma of the abuse. J.C. and William completed a restraining order which was granted for 5 years. Now the C. family can finally rest easy knowing they have the tools to fight back against their abusive son in case he ever wants to force himself back into their house.
During January 2015, NR requested assistance finding a part-time stockroom clerk position. Irene Sirois has been helping him apply online and referring him to job fairs. Finally Publix hired him to work part-time stocking shelves and bagging groceries – and loves it. (below)
Tanya Meade delivered our CILO services presentation to dozens of people in various agencies, resulting in increased referrals to our VOCA department. These presentations included 3 trainings organized by CILO’s VOCA Department and training the entire region for Florida Rural Legal Services.
RD is no longer living on the beach or at the Lewis Center because Susan Carberry won his Social Security appeal. RD will receive $18,000 in monthly $2,000 increments due to the type of benefit he is eligible for.
Susan has received many of calls about continuing disability reviews. The forms and questionnaires are lengthy and complicated and tend to overwhelm people already struggling with disabilities. Susan is completing the forms and submitting them -- one man is in the middle of radiation treatments for throat cancer and can barely walk or speak.
Susan has 8 hearings set the next 3 months and still has $18,000 in fees outstanding for cases won earlier this year.
MM was a victim of attempted first degree murder and was referred to Libby Snider for services to help through the prosecution. MM has benefited from our holiday food services, advocacy for health benefits and accompaniment through the judicial process. MM also needed appropriate clothes and shoes to wear to court. Through some donations we assist him to be prepared for court. And, through a partnership with Indian River State Cosmetology Department, we got him a voucher for a haircut and shave. The assistant state attorney commented on how nice he looked. Last week the female attacker was found guilty as charged. CILO staff will attend the sentencing with the client.
Terry Roth attended to a client at her hospital bedside in MICU for an emergency surgery. Then Terry assisted her on several occasions with transportation funds and with a counseling referral. Thanksgiving food was delivered for the woman and her three children and Christmas food is scheduled. Referrals also were made for her children to receive counseling. Upon the therapist's request Terry attended the first counseling intake for the children emotional support.
BS, 60, contacted Joe Anderson about his need for assistance with obtaining a power chair or scooter. BS has numerous health issues that make it difficult for him to leave the house. BS expressed how much it would mean toward his independence if he could just go around the neighborhood or to the corner store and have some fresh air and freedom. Joe helped BS complete and application for financial assistance from CILO to pay for a local DME supplier to fix a scooter CILO currently had as a donation to the loan closet program. BS was very excited to receive such a helpful tool in becoming more independent. Joe also assisted BS in applying for food stamp benefits.
CILO participated in the Stuart Air Show (below)