Dear Friends of the Center,

It has been a difficult three months as we deal with the challenges of the coronavirus crisis and the many ways it has turned our world upside down. We hope you have been safe and healthy during this time we have been sheltering in place.

Our staff has continued to provide services to clients by the creative use of teleconferencing, video chat and social media. We want to thank you for sticking with us and for your financial support that has gone toward purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), keeping our dedicated staff employed and providing services to the people with disabilities who rely on us.

Now that the Center is starting to re-open, we want to share with you our plans for the next couple of months. Staff are working diligently developing protocols for temperature screening, social distancing and masks for visitors, clients and staff at our headquarters. It will require some retrofitting to make it as hands-free as possible and we will have gallons of hand sanitizer!

Midwest Adult Autism Program (MAAP), as an essential service, has been open throughout the stay-at-home order. We implemented extensive safety practices while the facility was essentially empty for safety.

Day Program opened on June 12 with a small group of participants as a pilot program to test and sharpen the success of our procedures. More participants will return as we systematically refine our practices to safely serve additional people.

Employment and Community Supports programs staff are following best practices to evaluate and maintain safety for all when working in the community. We are excited to proceed with our summer jobs programs for youth beginning the end of June.

The Destinations Desserts food truck has its first scheduled event on June 19. Wags in a Bag will be opening very soon at our location in south St. Louis City on the corner of Morgan Ford and Connecticut. Within a few weeks, Destination Café will re-open with outside dining, safely spaced indoor dining and takeout availability.

All these safety precautions cost money and will put stress on our already stretched budget. If you can help with these expenses, we would be very grateful. You have no idea how important your donations are to opening doors to people with disabilities who are eager to get a job and participate in the community. We ask for your help as we really could not do it without you!

Enjoy your summer and stay safe,

Donna L. Gunning, M.Ed., CRC, LPC
Executive Director

We want to thank the following organizations for their financial support during this pandemic crisis:

Ameren
Developmental Disabilities Resource Board for St. Charles County
Gateway Resilience Fund
Nonprofits Insurance Alliance
Productive Living Board for St. Louis County Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
St. Louis Office for Developmental Disabilities Resources