“UCP of the North Bay would like to reassure our participants, family members, and the community that we are doing everything possible to stay socially connected by providing online training and education programs that support the continued health and well-being of the children and adults that we serve.”

Our UCP of the North Bay Giving Tuesday Campaign that concludes on May 31 has raised enough funds to purchase 107 Amazon Fire Tablets for children and adults with disabilities to join our online classes and visit with family and friends.  Once we have ensured that all our participants have a device to connect online, we will begin to support other agencies by donating tablets for their participants.  Our goal is to help ensure that distance learning is a viable option for all agencies serving our population.  Please visit www.ucpnb.org and click on #GivingTuesdayNow for a special message from our Honorary Campaign Chair, Michael Prichard.

From May 7 through May 13, we presented 79 online classes with a total attendance of 1,279 at an average of 16 participants per class.  On average, 94% of our participants are speaking with their assigned staff member individually each day – an increase of 2% over the previous week.  We also use a Wellness Rating Scale when speaking with our participants.  Based on their response to basic needs and positive outlook, we assign a number between 1-10 with 10 indicating the highest level of wellness.  The average wellness score of all our programs was 8.0, which has been similar from week to week.

Each week our goal is for a minimum of seven additional participants to join our online classes.  This past week we had four additional participants join, so we will try to exceed our goal in the coming week.  One of our staff members is regularly assisting participants and family members with accessing our online classes.  This includes setting-up devices for ease of use and doing so safely at their home if they require that level of support.  In-home technical support is scheduled this week with one participant who is living with their family and another with a participant who is receiving Independent Living Services.

This week in our Career Exploration Class, we discussed Entry Level Jobs such as dishwashing at a restaurant.  We found that many of our participants have had experience working in kitchens and they were able to provide useful input for the class.  In Art Class, we learned about the watercolor painter, William Homer, as we looked at various pieces of his work and discussed how his work evolved throughout his life.  As part of our Communications Class, staff members and participants worked together to facilitate positive group conversations by learning how to share, when to share, and the importance of listening – all useful tools in this new age of online and workplace communication.

We have received our Amazon Fire Tablets from the UCP of the North Bay Giving Tuesday Program and we are working on setting them up and distributing them to specific participants.  We are asking participants who are not attending online classes as frequently as we had hoped if having one would help their participation.  Sometimes the issue has less to do with not having a computer than having a computer that is in use by another family member during classes.

We are focusing our classes on employment skills, while maintaining education and recreation classes as part of our Outreach Program Curriculum.  Our Communication Skills Class has been very successful because it focuses our participants on applying positive communication to all the classes in which they participate.  Our Safety in the Workplace Class is teaching health and safety skills for now and for our eventual return to on-site and community-based programs.  Our staff members working on-site currently are continuing to measure work areas and create work stations that meet or exceed physical distance guidelines.

One more participant joined our online classes this week.  Through the generosity of our Giving Tuesday Donors, we will be able to provide Amazon Fire Tablets to two residential homes next week so that more of our participants can get connected to our online classes.

Group Supported Employment has taken another step toward returning to our regular work schedule with staff members going back to work at Friedman Home Improvement in Sonoma and for the City of Rohnert Park on our Park Janitorial Crew.  With these locations, all our Group Supported Employment work sites are available for the eventual return of our participants.  

We are still adhering to the current shelter in place order issued by Governor Newsom and we are monitoring Sonoma, Napa, and Solano County Covid-19 requirements.  Ensuring the safety of our staff members and participants remains our primary concern.  We are continuing to help our participants that are unemployed at this time with online classes and emotional support.

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Community Relations

Jen Whalen, Director
Steve Gatlin, Manager
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Administrative Office

1425 N. McDowell Blvd, Suite 115
Petaluma, CA 94954
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© 2019 UCP of the North Bay – 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. EIN: 94-2284940