Nonprofit Gets Creative to Engage People with Disabilities
Reach for Resources, a nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities and mental illness in Hennepin County, has gotten creative with technology and programming while maintaining social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. From physical fitness to discovering how to cook, staff members are engaging with the people they serve in new ways.
“We strive with helping people be as independent as possible we do that through community living services, adaptive health recreation and case management,” said Larissa Beck, program manager for community living. “We are trying to still be able to operate as much as we can and as normally as we can.”
Reach for Resources Uses Technology to Get Creative
Previously, all the services were one-on-one. Now, everything has to be done with the help of technology. Staff members have used conference calls and technology like Zoom or Skype to connect. Reach for Resources says these individuals not only want to be independent, they need to be independent.
A staff member named Kaiti marked stoves and ovens with different colors so people could see temperature levels and cook together. A staff member named Hailey used Zoom to do an at-home exercise video together and a staff member named Marcus helped one of his job seekers use Zoom for an interview with a potential employer. You can see a few examples here.
Beck says the responses they’ve received from the people they’ve served is varied.
“One guys feels like this has created a lot more independence for him. He felt empowered by doing things remotely,” said Beck. “We’ve had other people who think it’s really weird, like we all do.”
Reach for Resources continues to hear stories of how staff members are getting creative to help others. To learn more about the nonprofit, click here.