The fiscal year ended, the audit was completed, and we are stronger than ever before. In our momentum of growth, we have made sure to continue protecting the resources entrusted to us and providing for the people that matter most. We are blessed every day to have friends and family like you who believe in our mission, program, and people. This month, we have a lot to look forward to and people to celebrate!
As you can tell by the magnet enclosed with this update, we are preparing for our Third Annual Champion Fashion Show. This event continues to amaze us every year, and we love being able to celebrate and share with the community all of our individual's hard work. We believe that this event provides our participants with much-needed recognition. Every day they work hard, and we are so grateful to share their amazing experiences with San Antonio. This year's luncheon will take place on Thursday, April 16, 2020, at the San Antonio Country Club. The format will be similar to past years, but we will have a few unique additions to throw your way. Our individuals will be more involved in this event than ever before; trust us, you won't want to miss it! As we move forward, we will be sending out updates letting you know who our RMI Champion and our Community Champion recipients will be. If you are interested in contributing your time, money, or donations for the event, please contact Wendy Williams, Development Director at 210-508-8429.
We have some bittersweet news to share with everyone. Our fantastic, brilliant, kind, and talented H.R. Director, Ruth Webb, will be leaving RMI after 17 incredible years of service. Ruth has been an asset and a staple to RMI, she will be deeply missed. Ruth is excited about her next life adventure, which entails spending time with her son and finishing school. Her adventure is just beginning. Thankfully, Ms. Webb will not leave us without training and supporting our new H.R. Director, who also happens to be named...Ruth! After a long and exhausting interview process, Ms. Ruth Liggan (for this update, we will call her "L"), who is currently working as our HCS Case Manager. "L" has been with RMI for over ten years and has worked as our Administrative Assistant, Direct Care Staff, and HCS Case Manager. Saying she understands our program would be an understatement. "L" comes to the table with experience, fresh ideas, and a real passion for our program. We are excited to watch her continued success!
He has been called "The Face of RMI," and anyone who has ever been to an LEP event or RMI function knows just who I am talking about. Troy Jackson has been a participant at RMI for almost 15 years, and he has grown up so much since then. When Troy learned that we're opening our Supported Employment program, he was one of the first to jump up and say, "I want a job." We got Troy on-boarded with our S.E. Department and they worked tirelessly to help him understand the skills needed for employment. After training with the team, he became gainfully employed as a custodian at Ft. Sam Houston. Troy has remained employed for the past three years. When we were nominating participants to receive the ARC Achiever of the Year Award, everyone quickly agreed that Troy is THE guy for the job. On October 9, our staff, participants, friends, and family will join together to celebrate Troy and his inspiring efforts towards gaining independence.
Our participants have packed their bags, made their beds, and added pictures 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, water heaters replaced, and more! The girls have moved into their new home; they 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 for 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 incredible 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 allowed us to climb and grow. The 2020 Champion Fashion Show will be 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 every year!
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.