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Posted by Avenues in News on 3/25/2020 at 9:00 AM

The Health and Welfare of Everyone Associated with Avenues is our Utmost Concern

In these uncertain times, the people of Avenues to Independence remain fully committed to ensure the well-being of the individuals with disabilities we support as well as our dedicated staff members. Below you will find the extra precautions and measures Avenues leadership is taking to keep everyone safe.

How does COVID-19 affect the residents who live in Avenues’ homes?

At this time, and until further notice, entry to all Avenues homes and apartments will be limited to the individuals who live there and their associated staff. No outside visitors, including family members, will be permitted to visit. Staff members have been working around the clock to sanitize all homes and buildings. No-touch forehead thermometers are being used to check the temperatures of staff and clients daily. Residents are being asked to remain in their apartments as much as possible and avoid congregating in common spaces.

As you know, important supplies are in high demand, and our dedicated staff has been going out for basic grocery needs and hygiene supplies on a regular basis. We are compiling a list of supplies that are greatly needed for our staff and clients, and we will be sharing how everyone can help with this in the next few days.

Staff members are continuing to keep clients busy by arranging games, baking, organizing closets and bedrooms, and helping clients use computers and iPads to watch videos and keep informed and entertained. To that end, staff is compiling a list of on-line resources like virtual museums, zoo visits and exercise classes that can be utilized at home.

Virtual visits

We know how important it is to keep in touch with your loved one during this challenging time. Avenues is providing Amazon Echo Shows and iPads to all residential sites. Staff will be sharing ways for residents to participate in virtual visits with family, friends and each other by using FaceTime and Zoom.

Center for Independence in Wheeling and Thrift Shoppe in Chicago are closed

As of March 17, 2020, Avenues day programs will be closed to all participants and visitors.

This is a State of Illinois, Department of Human Services mandate and will be in place until further notice. The Avenues Thrift Shoppe will also remain closed until further notice. No change in any participant’s status with Avenues will take place due to an extended absence for any reason during the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In an attempt to provide additional supervision in our homes during the day, Center for Independence staff has been reassigned to support clients in their homes and in other needed areas throughout the agency. The commitment our staff has to our clients is inspiring, as they continue to care for our clients in this time of uncertainty in their own lives.

New Policies in Place

We are grateful for the dedicated staff members that continue to work during our program closure. Please be assured that we have put supports in place, such as offering an additional day of rest for our direct care providers, to allow them take care of matters in their own lives and be with their families.

We have adapted a work at home policy for staff members who are able to continue to work remotely to ensure the organization’s essential business is up and running.

How Can You Help?

Speak Out on Disability Funding in COVID-19 Package

Our direct support professionals (DSPs) cannot “work from home” and need to be compensated for their courageous efforts. Please use this email tool to ask congress that the COVID-19 relief legislation INCLUDE I/DD supports.

Donate funds for supplies and DSP compensation

We have compiled list of supplies needed for our staff and clients. We call upon our friends of Avenues to support us during this difficult time. You can find more information and donate at

Stay Informed with Avenues

If you are a family member of a participant, your case manager will be in communication with you. We will update our website regularly with any new changes. We will also send information through email and on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Please watch for further email notifications, and share this information with other family members and friends. Please notify us if you would like to add someone’s email address to our alerts.

We send a message to all of you, a part of our Avenues family, to stay safe and healthy during these challenging times.


Tags: covid-19 , coronavirus , chicago , cdc , idph , donations

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