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Imagine That...June 2023

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

Memorial Day, Briana having a water taxi ride & a fun day at the Santa Cruz Harbor!

Eliot with Zachary and Alina!

Scott and Annie making art!

Scott watering the plants!

Scott enjoying his walk!

Linda's artwork time!

David Relaxation Time!

Eliot and mom enjoying the day at the beach!

Regathering The Gathering

Dear Imagine friends and family,

Some of Santa Cruz' favorite inclusive events are coming up. Mark your calendars and set your alarms for the return of Shared Adventures' Day on The Beach July 14. The Gathering of Extraordinary People returns on August 18. We very much look forward to these events all year.

Keep an eye on Shared Adventures' website for Day On The Beach registration (the event is open to all but spaces in the adaptive sports events are limited and go quickly.). Watch this space for how to register for the Gathering, although participation isn't nearly as competitive.

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.

For those of you who are new to our community: The Day On The Beach (DoTB) is an annual event put on by Shared Adventures at Cowell's Beach, next to the Santa Cruz wharf. Each year, a wheelchair is built out along the beach down to the tide line leading to a dance floor and several stations where a Hoyer lift and volunteers from the Santa Cruz Carpenters' Local are available to make kayaking, outrigger canoeing, surfing, diving and other water sports accessible to people in any body. There is a free lunch provided and a concert. Imagine has been supporting this event for a long time with volunteers and assistance organizing. I have met visitors from other states who came to Santa Cruz for the opportunity to enjoy activities that aren't otherwise accessible. We are very proud this event happens here.

The Gathering of Extraordinary People is another local marquee event and takes place in Harvey West Park. The community of people with developmental disabilities from throughout the County are welcome. A typical gathering offers food, musical and artistic activities, sports and a talent show. We make this happen in partnership with other agencies and friends. Please reach out to Norma if you'd like to help us stage this event.

In penance for last month's newsletter, I'll keep this column short and my sentences simple.

I want to introduce two new columns for this month. The first is Jake's Favorite Animals. In cooperation with staff, Jake plans to produce a column each month telling you about a favorite animal and posting a photo. We're thrilled to add this feature to our monthly newsletter. Jake is a wealth of knowledge, memories and enthusiasms. He also needs support to write so the columns may vary in length based in part on who is there to support his writing. This month's column is probably short because he wrote it with my support. The other new column is written by Myrissa, from Jake's care team. I sure do hope this will also be a regular feature.

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

Patty Lopez, Imagine's Assistant Director of Human Resources thanks our employees for successful benefits election season and points out the new improved and expanded Employee Assistance Program that can be especially helpful with mental health challenges.

In The Service Sector, the new Heather-Stephanie column kicks off with Heather talking about her new approach to supporting our Facilitators to better support our clients and coworkers.

In Community Connections, Susan yawns and takes a month off because she can. (No column this month and I promised to give her a hard time about it.)

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

The Person-Centered Evolution this month talks about some of the less heralded benefits of Person-Centered Thinking tools.

This month we have spotlights on Netty and Lisa.

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

Myrissa's Column

I'm Myrissa.

Submitted by Myrissa

[Ed. Note] Yes, this is an inside joke.

Jake's Favorite Animals - The Timberwolf

The Timberwolf lives in the forest in North America. They are very social. I really love them. They are my favorite animal.

-Submitted by Jake

Editor's note, the photo is of a poster on Jake's bedroom wall. He is not kidding that he really loves them.

Human Resources Corner

Hello all, 


I would like to thank everyone who worked promptly on open enrollment. Imagine's benefits are one of the things that we value most as an agency, as it gives us an opportunity to support our employees' health. 


A big part of these benefits is our Employee Assistance Program. This year we made the decision to move from MHN as our EAP provider to a new provider: The Holman Group. A big part of the reason for this change was to be able to continue to offer free counseling services to every Imagine employee. Our new EAP will provide 5 free face-to-face or telehealth counseling sessions per issue for all Imagine Employees and their household members. 


As caregivers it is natural to feel overwhelmed, stressed out and even irritable after long periods of time caring for others. Imagine strives to have a culture of respect, trust, and understanding. Treating your consumer respectfully and supporting them through challenging behaviors is a part of a caregiver's daily job. Burnout can get in the way of that and cause an inability to feel empathy, or an inability to cope with your consumer's difficult feelings and behaviors.  


If you feel like you are experiencing burnout, feeling overwhelmed, or would like resources to speak to a mental health professional please don't hesitate to reach out to your Facilitator, Doug, or to myself. 


Remember that our Employee Assistance Program is available for all employees regardless of your Part-time or Full-time status. With our Employee Assistance Program, you have access to 5 free sessions with a mental health counselor. You can reach me at or at (831) 325-7760.  


You can reach our new EAP directly, toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at: 800-321-2843 or visit holmangroup.comThis line is completely confidential. If you need support with the website or the program, please feel welcome to write me.

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

Greetings, Imagine Family and Friends; I’m Heather, and this is my very first time contributing to our Newsletter! My goal is not to disappoint or bore you! Just a bit about me, I have been with Imagine since 2012 and have held many roles, including Day Support Staff, Live-in Housemate Support Staff, Facilitator, Bookkeeper, and Operations Manager. My current position as Operations Manager was introduced last month in May. My goal with this position is to support the Facilitators to manage their organizational duties better and keep them manageable. By keeping up, we hope they can prevent many crises, reduce burnout, and have more focus available for our consumers and their teams. 


Another thing that I have been working on, and has been in the works for a while now, is updating our iPads. Each consumer has an Imagine iPad at their home that is primarily used for our employees to clock in and out using the CareSmartz360 app and to access Imagine’s cloud files. These can also allow better communication in case of emergency. I estimate that no later than the end of July 2023, every consumer will have an updated iPad at home.


Keep reading this section monthly for more auditing and operations updates!



Heather Miller 


Self-Determination is now available for any regional center client who chooses it but it sure ain't smooth. 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 Wednesday, June 6 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


"And who might you be?"

Transparency At Imagine

Our next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday June 14 at 11AM. We are meeting at Common Roots Farm in person and you are welcome with or without an RSVP. But the RSVP comes with food. If you'd like to participate, please write to Norma

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. 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 Governor's "May Revise" is out and hearings have started. As of now, there are no important changes from the original budget. That includes a more than $20 billion deficit so Imagine and other state-funded should prepare for the seven gaunt cows.

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 purpose of Person Centered Thinking (PCT) is, of course, to fit the supports given as well as possible to the individual to whom they are given. But using those tools has other benefits to caregivers, Facilitators and the organization. In truth, most social service agencies are hard pressed to squeeze out a little more good for their clients within existing resources.

But PCT tools can make a lot of our planning, organization, communication, teamwork and training easier. Many of the tools developed by The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices have been workshopped over decades to efficiently ask the right questions and carry the right information in a well-organized and accessible design.

Well experienced users who put the tools into regular use in their teams can replace a lot of the verbiage in our documentation that otherwise might serve only once for compliance purposes and turn those documents into a useful training tool.

Some of the tools designed for daily use can replace the narrative portion of daily notes in a way that makes the notes more useful for communication and quality improvement without slowing that process.

When training a new caregiver, PCT tools can also be used to clarify the roles, expectations and methods in place with less effort and more efficiency.

PCT would be worth using if they were only helpful in making services more person-centered, but they would be a hard sell to exhausted professionals and their penny-pinching bosses if they didn't save time and prevent problems too.

-Submitted by Doug

Staff Spotlight on Janett (Netty)

You Got A Friend In Me… that’s a song that our friend Scott plays, usually in a Jazzy rendition to express how he feels about his friends. There is one person in particular that has been an incredible friend, advocate, masseuse, and air frier expert, Janett (Netty) Lopez.

Netty has been a pivotal member of Scott's team in supporting him through a really hard time with being displaced and living in his friend’s home while his home was going through water remediation due to a bathroom flood. The love, understanding, patience, and dedication over the past year have been subtly loud. The team that Netty is on is a challenging one at that. She helps manage different daily therapists coming, working alongside them, taking in the knowledge that they bring, and applies what she learns without being asked.

She is a detective always trying to decode what Scott is trying to convey to us through his YouTube videos, or his non-verbal cues. Whenever I walk in the house it smells so fresh, because she is always keeping the home clean. Netty is quiet but her smile fills the room and makes you feel good when you are around her. If you ever find yourself at CHF or Common Root Farm on a Friday, I bet you will see the Netty and Scott doing their weekly egg delivery. Scott, Imagine and I are so lucky to have the privilege to have you on our team. 

-Submitted by Jessica

Client Spotlight on Lisa

We’d like to introduce the newest client of Imagine Lisa Takamune. Lisa has been with Imagine since January 2023. She lives in Watsonville Ca. She is a very charismatic individual. Lisa just celebrated her 55th birthday in May. She has a great sense of humor and loves a good conversation. Lisa is a very social person.

Lisa attends the Hope Day program in Capitola, which she enjoys very much. For her birthday, they celebrated her with a big pizza party and desserts. Lisa loves parties and enjoys attending church and other social events. She also enjoys her relationships with her family and cousins, whom she’s close to. She loves watching TV and using her tablet to engage in social media.

Lisa loves cats, and even though she does not have one of her own right now, she frequently allows the neighbor’s cat to come to visit her and keep her company (with the permission of the owner). One of her goals is to eventually get a cat of her own. Her favorite place to go eat is TOGOS and Erik’s Deli. She is looking forward to a camping trip with her church group in July.

-Submitted by Angie


Birthdays & Anniversaries

Staff and Client Birthdays:

Yuliana E.

Alejandro F.

Evelyn L.

Maria L.

Dafne P.

Noe R.

Francis V.

Joanna Z.

Staff Anniversaries:

Heather M. - 11 Years!!

Derek R. - 11 Years!!

Rebecca M. - 8 Years!!

Teddy B. - 7 Years!!

Terry J. - 2 Years!!

Thank you for your commitment!

Imagine Supported Living Services
9065 Soquel Drive
Aptos, Ca 95003
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