To the Editor: Wood Lane group homes give people chance for good life
Written by Greg Bair   
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 10:40
In 1979 the first group homes in Wood County opened offering residential opportunities to individuals with disabilities who were previously relegated to large institutions where living conditions were often passable at best and deathtraps at worst. Into one of these homes entered a man who had been institutionalized. This man's father told anyone at Wood Lane who would listen: "I don't think you realize how much I appreciate what you are doing for my son." He advocated strongly for his son, his family, and others at a time when it was not popular to do so. The father had seen firsthand what neglect and complacency yielded and later grew wary of the trends he was seeing in the shift away from federal and state funding and toward an emphasis on local funding.
This father's story and the stories of other parents has been a driving factor in Wood Lane's quest for developing programs that are supportive, enriching, educational, and inspiring. People who have been institutionalized are now living successfully with supports in community homes. Wood Lane's reputation for excellence transcends county lines as families have moved into this county in order for their family member to be eligible for services.
We have high caliber support staff who routinely go above and beyond the expectations of their jobs when a service is necessary even if it is not funded or reimbursable. This is the kind of thing that separates us from others. There are too many examples to list where staff use their own time and resources to make a difference in the lives of people they serve, from being a companion in the hospital to celebrating birthdays and other milestone events in the continuum of life.
If you needed services for a loved one with a disability isn't this what you would wish for, perhaps even expect? Passing Wood Lane's levy in November will not increase staff pay or fund non-reimbursable services, but it will allow us to continue to recruit and hire people of the caliber described, who see this career as something other than "just a job," to seek out people who have the core traits of dignity, respect, and value that will continue to help individuals celebrate life and to be productive community members.
On Nov. 5 please vote "yes" for Wood Lane.
Greg Bair
Chief Executive Officer
Wood Lane Residential Services, Inc.

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