Bags were packed, beds were made, pictures were added to the walls. Two of our new group homes, Puma Pass and Stormy Skies, are now full of smiling happy faces!
In our last update we shared that we were in the process of opening 2 new group homes, bringing our total number of homes up to 10! In the past two months we have successfully passed 2 Life Safety Inspections (it’s a 1 and 40 chance for a home to pass on the first try and we did it TWICE...talk about finding Big Foot!), 2 Health Survey’s, and moved in 12 participants! It may sound easy, but to be completely honest this process is absurdly complicated! Each house came with its own set of complications, sidewalks needed to be poured, lights had to be added, sprinkler systems installed, hot water heaters replaced, and more! The girls have moved into their new home, they each have their own bedroom which allows for more privacy and (you guessed it!) INDEPENDENCE! Several of the men at Stormy Skies are living on their own for the first time, and we are excited to watch them grow and accomplish all of their goals and dreams. By adding these homes we are providing more beds to the constant need of placement in San Antonio. We are providing our participants more than a place to lay their head at night. We are providing support, family, career placement options, and more so that they know independence is truly within reach. After two long months of renovations, adjustments, and ADA requirements we have crossed the FINISH LINE! We have our wonderful team to thank, for they realize that it takes a constellation of shining stars to accomplish big goals ...and for that we are truly blessed!
If you would like to schedule a tour of one of our new homes please contact, Wendy Williams, Development Director at 210-656-6674 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Believe it or not, planning for our 2020 Champion Fashion Show is already underway! After the success of this past year’s luncheon we were excited to get started. In the past two years, we have seen significant growth in our fundraising efforts and our annual event has really helped us climb and grow. The 2020 Champion Fashion Show will be held at the San Antonio Country Club on Thursday, April 16, 2020! The goal of our 3rd event is to raise approximately 5% of our annual budget plus to have the participants involved even more than they have been in the past. While we are hard at work planning, coordinating, and fundraising our participants are practically campaigning to be selected as either a model or next year’s RMI Champion Award Recipient. This event has not only provided us with financial stability, but it has provided our participants with a goal to reach for each and every year!
The office is covered in “feel goods,” pictures, pandas, awards all a reflection of the brilliant and kind mind that sits behind the desk. She is busy and not just kind of busy but busy, yet she still took the time out of her day to meet with us. She greeted us with a smile and a laugh and willingly opened her door and heart to us for longer than she probably had time to do, but that’s just the kind of person she is. Of course we are talking about our Director of Clinical Services, Ms. Terri Maurer. Terri is so unique to this field and to our program in that we had to share a little bit about her.
Terri has been in this field since the beginning of her career, she is the shining example of a self-made (wo)man. When Terri started college to study psychology she had a job at Little Caesar’s but she had the forethought to find a job that was closer to her field of study. As she says, “I thought to myself, I’m going to be working with people I want to see if this is really what I want to do for a living,” so she answered an ad that was looking for staff to assist people with disabilities. Working tireless nights while taking classes during the day, Terri gave her all and her efforts paid off when she was promoted to house manager. She had found her fit, her “calling” and she knew working for people with disabilities would be her future. Never settling Terri knew she had to finish her degree to continue moving ahead in the field. She completed school and earned her degree in 8 years all while starting a family and working endless hours for the people she loves. Terri worked her way up; she climbed the ladder to being a QIDP and was so skilled at her work that she was again promoted to Program Director.
Her staff is her biggest fan, our clients adore her, and she is a mentor and source of sanity to anyone in need. Working at RMI has been one of the best things about her career, “I love working for a small company. When people call to inquire about services they typically speak with upper management first, which is really rare in any field.” During our conversation Terri kept telling us that she was lucky because she loved her job and that coming to work truly brings her joy. “Our clients bring a fresh perspective. They value and love all of the things that we take for granted every day, they are always excited about something.” Terri is the one of the best (in our opinion she is the best) in her position because of her tireless work making sure our participants and their families are comfortable, happy, and receiving the care that they deserve. As one of her staff members said, “Terri is very understanding, she knows the job, and she knows how to delegate. All questions or problems are followed with positive reinforcement and she always asks, “How can I make things better for you.” There isn’t anyone I would rather work for.” Terri keeps RMI together and running smoothly all with a smile on her face and joy in her heart. She is evidence of hard work paying off and a role model to anyone just starting in the field.
“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it. ” – Debbi Fields
March 25, 2019
These past few months have been WILD here at RMI. We have closed the book on some programs, made room for new and improved homes, and celebrated the successes of our wonderful individuals. The growing pains are almost over and the results are truly starting to show. Take a look at what all we’ve been up to!
On March 8, 2019, our staff, participants, family, and friends all gathered together at Morgan’s Wonderland to celebrate our participant's valiant efforts towards community integration and independence. The event highlighted 24 of our participants and their recent success and accomplishments. We celebrated individuals who have found employment in the community, individuals who are living on their own for the first time, and individuals that serve as role models to their peers. Each year we select a community sponsor and an RMI participant to honor for their generosity and triumphs. This year we were blessed to have the Valero Energy Foundation accept our J. Bradley and Connie Aust Champion Award. Valero has been a driving force behind our growth and expansion. From day one at our Brook Hollow home, Valero stepped in and provided us with the support needed to get the house “over the finish line.” …..In addition to sponsorship for our event, they have helped us with handrails, restrooms, lighting, furniture, supported employment, and vehicle replacement. The RMI Community Champion was Mr. John Davison, he has been a participant with Reaching Maximum Independence since September of 2001. John is the kind of guy that everyone (participant or not) aspires to be. He has held a steady job at H-E-B for 15 years and loves every minute of it. John was humble and kind when he accepted his award, and it was indeed a gift to be able to celebrate his accomplishments.
For the past two years we have been in “growth mode,” and this year has been no different. As many of you know, last year we added two new group homes to our program, our ICF Brook Hollow Home and our HCS Helotes home. This year we have already added two more group homes to our program, Stormy Skies, and Puma Pass...this brings our total number of homes up to 10. Puma Pass was almost a perfect home when we made our initial purchase in January of this year. In a few short weeks, we will be relocating the wonderful ladies of our New World group home to Puma Pass. This home is a perfect fit for these ladies because they not only each have their own bedroom but because it is centrally located allowing them to be more involved in community activities. In the past two months (a testament to our staff’s hard work and dedication) we have added new sidewalks, ramps, and handrails outside to make the home ADA compliant. We renovated the bathroom so that it would meet the needed requirements to pass both state and life safety inspections. The sprinkler system needed to be updated with new heads and insulation, the blinds and doorknobs needed to be replaced, lighting had to be added, and electrical work needed to be done. We are thrilled to have these ladies move into their new home so that they can continue towards independence.