The past four and a half months have felt like a year, until August 3. We finally have participants back in the building! As of August 3, the Department of Human Services (DHS) allowed Community Day Service (CDS) agencies to participate in a “soft opening.” We have had about 20-25 participants each day; normal is approximately 170.
Staff and participants have been following all of the new safety measures that have been placed upon us to make sure the Center is safe for everyone and services can continue! It is new, it is different, but we still have the participants in the forefront of every decision; to provide engaging programs and the choice of how they want to spend their day.
As it is for many, these are very challenging times for many reasons, especially financially. We have a long path ahead of us to get through this pandemic with the guidelines DHS and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) have set. Restrictions on the number of participants allowed daily, billing rates, PPE supplies, space, and many other necessities to operate safely are expenses that could not have been planned for.
As of September, CDS programs are allowed to have 50 participants back, or an equivalent number based on space, whichever is smaller. We are trying to provide services to as many participants who are ready to return. With that being said, the majority will not be able to be full time due to the constraints. It is important that we serve as many participants as we can. Everyone needs some level of programming at this point, and we are doing our best to accommodate as many of our participants as possible until we are able to return to some form of normalcy.
Thank you to all of our parents, community members, local representatives, board members and staff for all of the support and faith you show in all that Barbara Olson Center of Hope stands for and provides to the participants.
As always, we are here for any questions. Please be patient and we will continue to offer the quality of services that the Center of Hope has been known for the past 72 years!
Stay Safe! Stay Well!