“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.”

We are beginning to look at how to best restart our programs as restrictions are eased for businesses and programs serving people with developmental disabilities.  It will most certainly involve phasing in work activities both on-site and in the community in small groups and only with approval from North Bay Regional Center and Community Care Licensing.  We have been very successful over the last few years with having many of our participants work at local businesses for all or part of their program day.  We are going to have to reimagine how to make that work while attempting to increase safety for our staff members and employees with disabilities in light of the pandemic.

While there are challenges ahead, we are strengthened by the support we have received from the Department of Developmental Services and North Bay Regional Center with the awarding of a two-year grant “to increase competitive and integrated employment opportunities in the community for participants.”  Although some adaptations may have to be made due to the pandemic, Job Developers in Sonoma, Napa, and Solano counties will be working to identify employment opportunities for work crews and individuals at local businesses.  The grant comes at a time when community-based employment is our priority and health safety is a necessity.

WineBev Services saw 13 participants join our online classes for the first time using their new Amazon Fire Tablets from our Giving Tuesday Program.  Like all our programs, we are very grateful to the public for their generous donations that made this possible.  One of our staff members is setting up the remaining tablets that we have for distribution to more participants this week.  Many of our participants are learning technology for the first time and have never owned a tablet before.  With a second shipment of tablets arriving soon, we expect the numbers of participants engaged in online classes and activities to continue to grow.  The value of these tablets will remain high, even as our programs begin to blend site-based, community-based, and home-based activities when shelter-in-place restrictions are lifted.

We added one more participant to our online classes this week.  Progress is a little slower with our Seniors, but we are continuing to contact everyone daily and provide the technology and training necessary for participation.  Our Program Manager is working with Board and Care Homes to support their participation and we are seeing our numbers increase.  We are continuing to distribute tablets and provide an orientation to our Outreach Program for residential facilities, families, and individual participants.

Two participants new to Zoom joined our online classes this week.  We are working on distributing additional tablets to participants in need.  Our Workplace Safety and Preparedness Class discussed how to manage days when the temperature is very high.  Our Art Class discussed still life painting and in our Craft Class we presented the history of Glass Blowing.

OADS Transportation Drivers participated in an online driver training to stay current with safe driving practices.  Our staff members are supporting the Petaluma Recycling Center with their reopening, as well as continuing to do Custom Recycling Solutions pick-ups in Sonoma County.  Custom Recycling Solutions has also seen an increase in volume as the recycling needs of local businesses increase.

We delivered five Amazon Fire Tablets this week to participants who needed them in order to attend our online classes.  As a result, several of our participants joined our classes for the first time.  We held our first online Family/Caregiver Open House on Wednesday, May 27 with 22 parents, 13 staff members, and 4 participants in attendance.  It was a very informative evening of sharing our ideas and plans for the eventual reopening of Gone for Good. 

We received very nice feedback from several family members on how much they appreciate the effort and care we continue to provide to their family members.  We explained that the process for returning will be shared with them as we continue to come up with best practices and put guidelines in place for social distancing.  We will be providing classes in the coming weeks on health and safety practices in the work place and on the requirements for returning to work.

Group Supported Employment continues to prepare for our eventual return to work with staff members fulfilling current contract demands.  One group of participants has returned to work at the Petaluma Recycling Center, which is an essential business of UCP of the North Bay.  Online classes are available to participants who remain sheltered in place.

Individual Supported Employment Job Coaches are continuing to provide worksite support and online assistance.  Our participant training is focused on what they should expect with their eventual return to work.  We are also accepting applications from individuals new to Individual Supported Employment.  Please contact Tony Montoya, Supported Employment Manager, at 707-763-9807 for assistance.

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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