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Imagine That...August 2023

In Loving Memory of Dean Wilson and Dana Hackett
Help support Imagine!

Eliot enjoying his swim!

Scott's Surfing Day!

Scott enjoying the sun and the beach!

Ken & Scott!

Kirby, Alan, and Jake at the Day on the Beach!

Scottie trying new shirt and pants!

Pedro & Scottie!

Jade reading a funny book to Scott!


Eliot & Zack on 4th of July!

Russell, James, Kenia, Alexa, and Sharon celebrating David's birthday!

David enjoying his play time!

Happy Birthday Simone!

Simone & Abra Celebrating!

Alan at the Day on the Beach!

Beto is the Boss

Dear Imagine friends and family,

We want to start by welcoming the newest members of our family. Beto will be joining our SLS program and plans to be at the gathering mid month and have his birthday party with us at the end of the month. There's gonna be cheesecake, y'all. Joining our family too is Beto's sister, Maria Elena. She is a service coordinator at the regional center, specializing in care for young children. When you meet them, you let them know how welcome they are. You can read more about Beto below.

In addition to Beto, another family joins ours this month. We'll introduce them more fully in September, but A.J. (if you're local, different A.J.) is moving from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. A.J. is starting a new life in his own home through self-determination. His parents, Sigrid and Stephen, his sister and Aunt will all participate and we welcome them all to our community. We are excited to be trying a new model where A.J.'s caregivers will not be part of Imagine, but the leadership team provides consultation and support. More about A.J. and family in an upcoming newsletter but for now, welcome.

And boy howdy do we have some good things ahead for Beto, A.J. and you.

The Gathering of Extraordinary People is coming August 18, as usual in Harvey West Park. Imagine has had a lot of support from partner agencies and other friends in making the Gathering happen. If you would like to help out that day or during the preparation, please email Norma. This is another banner event for our community, focused on people with developmental disabilities enjoying one another and ourselves as a community. This year there will be a tacquero providing food, including vegetarian and gluten free options. (Actually, I'm not sure gluten is an option.) The usual talent show will take place as well as sports, arts & crafts and face-painting for those of us not old enough to know better.

The Imagine Film Festival now has a date you can save. Wednesday, October 25th will be our 11th Film Festival. For the people new to Imagine, this is something we do to help the community become more inclusive, in a way that centers around individuals with disabilities. The film festival features music, food and short films by, about and/or featuring people with special needs. Typically it has been on a weekend, but there were none available at our venue so we're trying out the Wednesday date. We'd love to see you there. The call for films is below.

The 2023 Day On The Beach was an awfully good time and we want to thank Shared Adventures

for making this happen year after year. It provides a lot of joy and opportunity to people some of whom travel a long way to experience it. A lot of organizations, including Imagine, contribute time, money and other resources to help Shared Adventures put the event on. The breadth of collaboration and the inclusiveness of the event make it something the Monterey Bay Area should feel proud to have happen here.

This month marks a bit of a pause in the restructuring and reform while we work on some of the administrative aspects of the changes already made while we prepare for a board meeting mid-month which will discuss the next steps.

One thing that has recently come up is that many of our caregiving staff weren't aware that Imagine has expectations for the training included in house meetings. To improve transparency and communication and to give caregivers another reason to side-eyes their Facilitator, I promised to include the list of trainings we expect here. So I did.

Further down, this month's newsletter includes the following:.

The Redwood Chroncles column continues. We're renaming it a little so that, in addition to Jake's Favorite Animals, other talented residents can also contribute.

Meet Beto. He doesn't seem to mind attention so we're giving him some.

Patty Lopez, Imagine's Assistant Director of Human Resources reviews the All-staff meeting for the majority of staff who weren't there.

In The Service Sector, Heather decompresses about our upcoming regional center "Quality" Assurance Audit.

In Community Connections, Susan invites you and me to another State of Imagine meetup. It's recommended for you.

Our usual stuff in the columns around advocacy, self-determination, the Imagine Endowment and Transparency.

The Person-Centered Evolution this month talks about Important To/Important For as a gift to Imagine parents who I really do like.

This month we have spotlights on birthday twins Ian and Ryan and on Silvia.

As ever, if you have any questions, feedback or concerns, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can write me here. I look forward to hearing from you.

Gratefully yours,


The Imagine Endowment

We have an endowment to support Imagine's future. Imagine will receive regular payments of the returns from these funds. Initially, we expect the impact to be small but as the endowment grows, it holds the promise of helping Imagine help others through hard times to come.

If you are considering a gift to the endowment, either right now or as part of a giving plan or bequest, we have information available here. And thank you.

To make direct contributions please make checks payable to; The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.  Designate the "Imagine Supported Living Services Fund". Mail to;   Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, 7807 Soquel Dr., Aptos, Ca.  95003. 

-Submitted by Doug

Welcome, Beto!

The newest member of the Imagine family is Beto and just in time to have a birthday party with us. Dedicated Imagine partygoers, keep your ears to the ground. It will be big.

Beto is funny, nice and fun to hang out with. He prides himself on being respectful. Some of his interests include shopping, especially at thrift stores, board games, and dominoes.

He likes to keep himself busy and entertained, and he can do a lot for himself. He enjoys books, movies and music in both Spanish and English and is fully bilingual. He also does his own laundry. He is interested in cars and world records in particular.

He is the boss.

We look forward to all that Beto is bringing to the Imagine community and welcome both him and his sister to our family.

Submitted by Doug

The Redwood Chronicles

Jake likes the elephant family structure and the way the matriarch leads the family and remembers where to find water. Jake particularly liked seeing the elephants in Botswana, who were safe from poachers who killed them for ivory. He also liked the documentary about a woman in Thailand saving elephants from captivity so they could go back in the wild.

-Submitted by Jake and Kirby

Editor's moral: Home is wherever they hose you down.

Human Resources Corner


First off, thank you to everyone who attended the All Staff Meeting. It was our first All Staff of the year and the first in person in a long time. We hope to have these meetings in person more often. 

In the meeting, we discussed Viventium and Caresmartz. I hope everyone has created their profile and feels comfortable with the functions of each system. It is extremely important that all of your information is updated on these systems. If you notice that your contact information is not updated, please let us know immediately and we will make sure that is updated for you. 

Unfortunately, we have experienced fraudulent emails recently that impersonate our staff and attempt to make a change to the direct deposit information. In order to avoid any identity theft issues, we have requested anyone that is making any change to their payroll information, do so in person or over the phone so that we can verify your identity. 

Another thing discussed in the All Staff Meeting, was Imagine's upcoming annual events: The Gathering of Extraordinary People and the Imagine Disabilities Film Festival. We hope that you are encouraging your clients to attend these events and in the case of the Film Festival, encouraging them to make a Film. We have sent out the Call for Films with the Film Requirements and guidelines. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions regarding a Film submission. 

As always, I am here to discuss any concerns you may have regarding your employment at Imagine. 

Best Regards, 

Patty Lopez

Assistant Director of Human Resources

Imagine Supported Living Services

Office: 831-464-8355 ext. 112

Cell: (831) 325-7760

Fax: (831) 612-6384

The Service Sector



We’ve received our SARC Q&A Audit date for August 4th, 2023. 


Some context as to why SARC performs these audits…SARC is required to conduct a Q&A audit every two years for every vendor. These audits are to ensure that we are providing high quality care to our clients by checking that we are keeping track of data and other vital documents. 


I have been working with the Facilitators on auditing their binders and files, and I’m so happy we started that process a couple of months ago because it has helped us know what has been working and what's not working (PCP Tool!) when it comes to record-keeping and keeping documents up to date. 


 Just a shoutout to all of our Facilitators; Brenda, Jessica, Angie, Alina, and Stephanie; thank you so much for your hard work in getting us audit ready! 


I’ll report on how our audit went next month. Until then, Keep Surfing 841!

-Submitted by Heather


Self-Determination is now available for any regional center client who chooses it but it sure ain't running smooth. Tentatively, I think it is getting a little better but boy howdy, is there room for improvement to continue.

If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me. I'm pleased that there are a few current and recent Imagine employees who are developing Independent Facilitation practices and I'll be glad to connect them with those looking.

This month, the Independent Facilitator Roundtable will be tomorrow at 11AM. The Zoom link is right here.

For people interested in Self-determination, there is also a monthly zoom event to introduce individuals and families to Independent Facilitators.It's the third Friday of each month and the time is supposed to rotate but we seem stuck on 2:30-4. Let me know if you're interested and I'll send the link and confirmation of the time.

The Independent Facilitator Network, a confederation of professionals working self-determination (which started at Imagine!) has a Slack Channel you can join by clicking here. Individuals receiving services and family members are welcome and it's a great place to have your SDP questions answered by sad, wise experts.

-Submitted by Doug

Community Connections


August 2023


Parent “State of Imagine” Meetup

August 20th Sunday 2 pm-4 pm

When Doug said he’d join us for a meetup in August, it seemed timely for an in-person discussion of all things Imagine. Bring your questions, concerns, appreciations, and everything in between. Light refreshments provided in an outdoor setting. 

260 High St. Santa Cruz

Please RSVP to Susan (not Imagine!)


Succession Planning Information

Good Shepherd Fund will be giving a Zoom presentation about their person centered and trust administration services for Imagine and Coastal Haven families in September. Look for the date and more details in the next newsletter.


Susan Douglass, Imagine parent    

(831) 818-2501

Transparency At Imagine

Our next board meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 16 at 11AM although it might be postponed for a week. Watch this space next month for the final date. After three years of spending from our reserves, Imagine has been running a financial surplus since January. Our intention is that with every board meeting for the rest of 2023, the board will consider investments, primarily towards the material wellbeing of direct care staff, at each meeting. Just to set expectations fairly, the largest of these investments will have been the tenure-based raises we gave caregivers as of March 1. But we also have no intention to stuff windfalls into couch cushions, and nobody is content with caregiver wages as they now exist.

We are still recruiting board members. We are working to diversify the board and to add a GAAP-trained treasurer. An attorney wouldn't be bad either. Neither would you. We're pleased that Raul Rekow, Jr. of Santa Cruz Supported Living is in the process of considering membership on the board. If you know someone with a passion for our mission who might like to volunteer, please write to me.

-Submitted by Doug

Advocacy Corner

The State budget has been passed and, as expected, it is a fine one for Imagine and our clients. It is also one with a multi-tens-of-billion dollars deficit so we are looking with caution towards the future. Our hope is to build on the recent substantial direct care raises with more targeted increases in compensation with the goal of maximizing the financial welfare of our direct care staff in a way that will remain sustainable in the face of future temporary rate reductions.

Imagine has been going on tour through VDZ (Virtual Displacement through Zoom) presenting our FHA program to advocacy groups including the Housing Committee of what used to be the Olmsted Commission and an IHSS advocacy group coming up this month.

As always, thanks to Marty Omoto of CDCAN for amplifying the transparency and circularity of information between the community and policy-makers. If you would like to receive CDCAN's extensive reporting, write to Marty. CDCAN's work is entirely funded by the donations of those of us who benefit. Write to me or to Marty if you'd like to kick in.

-Submitted by Doug

Person-Centered Evolution

The belle of the PCT ball is Important To/Important For. It's the absolute parents' favorite because it is the likeliest PCT tool to include words like "fiber," "clean" and "underwear." The purpose of this tool is to take all the proper goals into account- those that the individual chooses for themselves (Important to) as well as those that may not be favorite topics but matter to the health and well-being of the individual (Important for.)

A good person-centered program is not transactional. It has focus, understanding and robustness. As caregiving became more person-centered, a common problem has been (and still kind of is) that the choices an individual makes in the moment may not be consistent with their long term interests but be entirely felicitous of the current preferences of both the client and their caregiver on a bad day. Important To/Important For offers a framework for maintaining long-term preferences for good choices while honoring consistent and even transient preferences.

-Submitted by Doug

Spotlight on Sylvia

For this month’s staff spotlight I would like to recognize Silvia Prado. Sho is the Lead staff on Hayley Ogden’s team. Sylvia came to Imagine without previous experience in the field but with her effort and dedication she rapidly learned to provide the care that Hayley desperately needed.

She is aenthusiastic participating in trainings that will be of great use for Hayley and her staff. Silvia is always making sure to check in and give her input on what she expects to help her client thrive. She often helps out even on her days off and is a forward-leaning, committed kind and helpful during her on-call rotations.

She is a great example of what a hard worker is. Silvia works well under pressure and has a very person-centered approach when confronting difficult situations. From all of our Imagine’s team we would like for her to know that we are super grateful, and we appreciate her. We look forward to the times she brings her good spirits to the office.

-Submitted by Brenda

Spotlight on Ryan and Ian

Given the opportunity to highlight more than one consumer we give you the rare occurrence of Imagine birthday twins who share the same month and day. Celebrated with much love by their own circles, both have gone through many changes to their otherwise even days to have earned them significant reason to make as much of their birthdays as a day allows.


With the help of his staff, Ryan has adjusted to a new home and commute. He was able to celebrate not just his birthday, but week, as his day of was an excitedly (for staff) though grumpy one (for Ryan) but the week as calm as could be. Ryan was able to receive birthday gifts and love in the peace and comfort of a now familiar new setting that is his home surrounded by redwoods getting to satisfy his sweet tooth with cake and enjoying his relax time.


While Ryan celebrated with quiet and comforts, Ian is a man of great celebration. Asking for balloons, banners, friends, and pizza! Having recently gone through many of his own program changes and routines, Ian shared his enthusiasm for his birthday receiving lots of gifts and initiating conversation with family and friends. Known as the wholesome individual he is with a big heart and great sense of humor; Ian would rather talk about others’ birthdays than his own only increasing the excitement in us all to make his day that much grander and more special. 

-Submitted by Alina

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Staff and Client Birthdays:

Jen A.

Steve C.

Sabrina C.

Salvador D.

Veronica L.

Brenda L.

Raul L.

Sidney M.

Erika N.

Alina P.

Leslie R.

Jose S.

James T.

Luis V.

Maria Z.

Staff Anniversaries:

Gregory B. - 17 Years!!

Sarah J. - 7 Years!!

Tlayeli N. - 4 Years!!

Yvonne R. - 1 Year!!

Chloe S. - 1 Year!!

Bianca T. - 3 Years!!

Stephanie U. - 2 Years!!

Thank you for your commitment!

Imagine Supported Living Services
9065 Soquel Drive
Aptos, Ca 95003
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and choose Imagine as the charitable organization to receive a donation of 0.5% of each purchase!

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