So, now what?
Now that the Marion County Board of Developmental Disabilities has had a couple of days to soak in the reality of the recent passage of the replacement levy, we ask the question, “Now what?” What does this mean for Marion County residence with developmental disabilities?
We wish that we could tell you that the additional funds will create tons of new programs with fancy names in a coordinated fashion, but the truth is, going 25 years without new funding has done a lot of damage to the County Board of DD. We have cut programs, staff, and reduced the funds available for the families we serve. Much of the funding will focus on trying to provide the “small things” that families need. They may appear small to the community, but very large and impactful to those served. Things like communication devices, home modifications, adult diapers, therapies of all kinds, respite care, camps, transportation for employment, and many other “small things” will make a huge impact in each life.
Do not misunderstand. We have goals to grow our services and community engagement. We plan to work and collaborate with schools in a more meaningful and impactful way. Finding out how we can support the school-age population outside of the classroom – at night, on weekends, and throughout the summer will be a focus.
Working with churches, businesses, and community organizations who want to be more inclusive and partner with us for volunteering, community integration opportunities, employment, and beyond are on the long-term agenda. Dreams of working with other agencies, the court systems, and the schools on a behavioral support “house” or place for parents to get a break for a few hours a week to go grocery shopping, clean their house, or go to dinner and reconnect have been mentioned internally.
For several years, we have been listening. We have heard our families’ angst and we have been keeping a list of ways to help those we serve. For many years we have cut services and support so it will be a fun and rewarding project for our team to prioritize, learn from our families and meet the needs of those we serve.
We also need to be mindful – and remind the community – that this money needs to last us for several years to come, so fiscal responsibility is at the heart of every decision we make.
The passage of this levy is exciting in so many ways. We encourage our community to help us be further embedded. We want to be involved, we want to volunteer, we want to be asked to be a part of the exciting movement that is happening in Marion.
Please consider this an invitation to connect with the Marion County Board of DD so we can hear your ideas and thoughts as well. Let’s talk, let’s partner, let’s collaborate to make Marion County achieve the mission of MCBDD together. We are here to help those we serve, live, learn, and earn in Marion County. Reach out and let us know how we can be a part of your organization!
We want to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of Marion County for taking the time to register, vote for MCBDD, and pass our replacement levy which will ensure more stability for our future, the future of those served, and Marion County as a whole. #WORTHIT