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Posted by Avenues in News on 4/21/2020

Bob Okazaki

Dear Friends,

Last week was a more upbeat week here at Avenues including last Tuesday's airing of a segment on Channel 11 that made staff members Linda Smith and Stephen Kray into rock stars. It was very well received and I have seen numerous emails of congratulations. If you have not yet seen the video click here.

We are thankful to Linda Smith for her 336 continuous hours of work to keep our residents safe. Her odyssey ended early Thursday, April 16 and she was able to take off for a well-deserved respite. Thanks also to Residential Director Stephen Kray, who really stepped up to rearrange a myriad of staff schedules impacted by the COVID crisis. Kudos also to Michele Shoolin who spent the better part of the past two weeks communicating with WTTW's Chicago Tonight reporter Jay Shefsky.

This past Sunday Linda Smith and I were on a WGN radio show with Pete McMurray; Linda shared her story about being quarantined with Avenues residents. Click here to listen to the broadcast.

As of now, the residents and staff at Herbst Family House have completed their 14-day high risk quarantine. That does not mean we are out-of-the-woods; everyone will still observe strict safety measures which includes the continuous use of masks, sanitizers, and practicing social distancing. The home underwent a deep cleaning and disinfection process.

Residents and staff at our other locations are not showing signs of any Covid symptoms, and we hope things stay this way.

Day programs at the Center for Independence and the Thrift Shoppe remain closed. Case managers continue to maintain contact with day program participants who do not reside at Avenues; most are experiencing cabin fever like everyone else.

Cathy McCarthy Avenues CFO, completed and submitted our application for Payroll Protections funds. Avenues was not selected to receive the funds at this time. Hopefully, Congress will increase the availability of funds and we will reapply.

The State is in the process of establishing a plan for how to reopen day programs. Much depends on public health recommendations regarding the number of people who will be allowed to safely congregate in one location. Although program participants are eager to get back to work, their safety, and the safety of Avenues staff, is top priority.

Thank you to the many Board and committee members and individuals from the community who sewed masks, donated supplies and provided financial support. All of this is greatly appreciated and helped to get us to where we are today. We will continue to update you, and thank you for your continued support.

Stay safe and healthy,
Bob Okazaki

 

Tags: Channel 11 , Linda Smith , Stephen Kray , Videos , COVID-19 , Michele Shoolin , WTTW , Chicago Tonight , Jay Shefsky , Pete McMurray

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