People with developmental disabilities are living productive lives, thanks to the help they receive from family members, friends and Region II Services, which supports people with developmental disabilities. The organization serves 175 people in 17 counties, with offices in North Platte, Cozad, McCook and Ogallala.
Pamela Mann, executive director of Region II Services, gave her annual report Monday to the Lincoln County commissioners. She said the organization helps people with developmental disabilities “live a robust, purposeful and meaningful life as part of (the) community.”
It provides administrative support for the Opportunity Center and serves 74 individuals from the North Platte office.
The Cozad office serves 52 people in the area that also includes Gothenburg and Lexington, Mann said. They are “a very strong self advocacy group,” she said. They conduct raffles, a food booth at the Hay Days community celebration and other activities to raise money for charitable causes. They have given money to a family struggling with cancer and recently raised money for flood victims in Nebraska.
The McCook office has a working relationship with Valmont Industries, which provides jobs at minimum wage for eight to 10 people with developmental disabilities. The office in McCook provides services to 42 people.
The Ogallala office provides employment support and training services to seven individuals.
The North Platte Opportunity Center at 501 N. Bryan Ave. is a hub of activity that extends to a thrift store and two production and retail sites, all providing work for people with developmental disabilities, said Gwen Books, director of services at the center. They also provide janitorial services to a number of businesses in town.
On the production floor at 501 N. Bryan is an artisan co-op. They make and sell bath bombs, sugar and salt scrubs (exfoliants), laundry soap, wood crafts, wax melts, candles and other items.
The Copy Center at 1501 E. Fourth St. provides printing services, including flyers, personalized note pads and business cards and raffle tickets, save-the-date cards and invitations.
Sandhills Industries at 1014 E. Eighth St. takes orders and makes picnic tables, flower planters, bird houses, yard Jenga and dominoes, bird houses, porch ornaments and other wood items.
All Opportunity Center sites are open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. New Opportunity Thrift Store, 1616 W. Front St., is open Monday through Saturday, and the other sites are open Monday through Friday. For information about any of the Opportunity Center locations, call 308-532-3956.
The center also provides in-home support for 62 individuals, including 36 who live in their own homes, three who live with support families, and 23 who live in the center’s five group homes.
Mann said the state supplies 88% of the $11,484,892 revenue for Region II Services throughout the 17 counties. Individual counties provide 1.62% ($186,603); Lincoln County’s share is $66,770. Other revenue sources include board and room charges ($322,300), contracts and sales ($136,680), school districts ($1,800), fees for services ($105,424), other state/subcontracts ($454,593), share of cost funds ($81,700), cash contributions ($500), interest ($2,550) and “other” ($91,427).