Monthly Archives: March 2011

Bleak Future for SN High School Graduates

In light of government funding to community based and private sector partnerships, the future is bleak for students who have graduated high school. Their parents, some of whom have had to quit jobs, have become the sole companion for the day, week, etc. Many of them are on waiting lists for any sort of help, but now is the time for them to reinforce the skills they learned in school, both intellectual and social. Now is the time for them to have a reason to take care with grooming and get out there in the world.

We are exploring an exciting new opportunity for students who have finished high school and have no place to take their talents. It’s a postage stamp on a full scale problem, but it may be an opportunity for churches. A day program for service to the community is on the drawing board. Fact finding is important before we decide to undertake a new program at Chapelwood UMC. Does anyone out there have a day work program for teens and those slightly above that age level? If so, please share your expertise. Our churches aim of making disciples includes helping them become disciples, so this has huge importance.

Two students from our recent special needs confirmation class want to put into action what they learned about giving something back to the church and about helping others. At our first exploratory meeting we set goals for the students and the parents and discussed how to accomplish these goals. Every program that meets student’s needs will grow, so our preliminary fact finding is taking that into consideration. It’s exciting, but also a little daring even daunting in these hard economical times. I’m convinced that big hearts make big plans, so watch this billboard to find out if this is a go.

Proposed Budget Cuts Terrorizing Parents of Disabled

The eyes and voices of parents of persons with disabilities reflect sheer terror about the futures of their children in light of proposed budget cuts in the state of Texas. The safety nets for their children and themselves is shredded! Group homes will be under-staffed or closed, day sheltered workshops that allow students to be productive will be limited or eliminated, and many community services will be so underfunded the long waiting lists will get even longer. When a child has no place to work or “be” during the day, a parent will have to quit work and stay home with them permanently, and this is at a time when they are saving for when they are gone and there is no one to care for their child.

We are already faced with waiting lists in the hundreds for job training or workshops for students who just graduated from high school at the age or 22. The future is bleak for them. They need to be productive citizens to have a sense of worth. They need socialization in order to keep the personal skills they learned in school. They have had the misfortune to have parents who live in Texas, a state that contributes less to their care than any in the United States. People in general value persons with disabilities, but somehow our leaders do not. It’s not malice, just lack of understanding and in some cases heart. It’s a shame, too, because most of them profess to be Christian or have other religious values with guidelines that say they are to do for the persons least able to do for themselves. Maybe we need to educate them.

Please call AND write your congressman and find out who is on the finance committee that could use your information. It’s urgent. Don’t wait.