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March 2024 - Winter Recap Issue

What a wonderful winter!
Please find all the articles from the newsletter below for universal text access.


 

Accessible Articles below:


BECKY'S CORNER - A note from our Director


John F. Kennedy once wisely said, “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives,” and his words resonate profoundly. As we recap the winter’s events at Harbor and start a new year let me say that gratitude should not be reserved for holidays; rather, it should be a daily practice. The time to express our thanks is now!
Allow me to share a meaningful story from years ago. Joe, co-founder of CHOICESS, the supported living agency we initiated in Southern California, and I were fervently engaged in public speaking due to our pioneering work in establishing the first supported living agency in California. We spoke passionately to diverse audiences—families, individuals with disabilities, traditional residential service providers, regional center staff, and advocates. Our message emphasized the right of all, irrespective of the severity of their disabilities, to choose supported living services over congregate living if it better suited their needs.
After one such event, a mother approached me at a regional center meeting. She wanted to express her gratitude, thinking I might not recall that particular presentation. However, I did remember. She shared that I was the first to ignite her interest in supported living services for her son when others had deemed him "not ready." Filled with hope, she recounted the positive impact my words had on her family. Her son had successfully transitioned to supported living, escaping the challenges of a group home. Her heartfelt hug and tearful expression left an indelible mark on me.
This encounter fueled my dedication to advocating, educating, and sharing stories with renewed vigor. Over the past 33 years, Joe and I have been fortunate to receive similar expressions of gratitude. Every instance strengthens our commitment. Recently, I stumbled upon a coaster with a powerful message, "I can't believe I still have to protest this stuff." Little did we foresee, in 2024, debates persisting on the cost of high-quality support, eligibility for supported living services, and the standards for inclusive and person-centered services.
As we navigate the unexpected challenges, we draw inspiration from the individuals and families choosing to create their homes independently in California and across the nation. In closing, I wish you all a beautiful, peaceful, and joy-filled 2024. Cherish your loved ones, express gratitude to those enhancing your world, and, on behalf of all of us at Harbor Supported Living Services, thank you for being part of our journey.


Happy Days to Each and every one of you,
Love, Becky

In Loving Memory

Alikan Abusaidi  1/28/63-1/21/24


Dearest Ali, It has been six short weeks since you crossed over into your bright and peaceful forever. You left us with an empty place in our hearts but your spirit fills it up if we only listen.

That disarming huge smile of yours will always bring us such happiness. As will remembering you flashing that smile and beckoning us with your thumbs up or waving finger to come and give you a hug. Who could resist the open arms you called us with when you wanted another hug? You really love hugs and we know you will have a steady supply of big warm ones where you are now.

Although you were a man of few or no words, you were very able to let us know how we could help you or make you happy. And you did the same for us when we needed help or a reason to smile. We will continue to depend on your spirit to bring us joy, smiles and happiness through our memories of you and the time we spent alongside you. We know you care about all of us and we will always deeply love and care about you.

You are a part of our family and always will be. It doesn't matter how many weeks pass since you left because your light continually reminds us that loving is the cause of our broken heart and that memories are the way to bridge the space between us and you.

You will be deeply missed, always. ~ The Harbor Family


Love Came First

Donna Ashworth


You don't move on after loss, but you must move with.

You must shake hands with grief, welcome her in, for she lives with you now.


Pull her a chair at the table and offer her comfort.

She is not the monster you first thought her to be.


She is love. And she will walk with you now,

stay with you now, peacefully. If you let her.


And on the days when your anger is high,

remember why she came, remember who she represents.


Remember. Grief came to you my friend because love came first.


Love came first...




SPOTLIGHTS FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE


Megan

We are celebrating Megan this month! A cherished client who infuses our small community with her vibrant energy and rhythmic beats through her passion for percussion instruments. Highly regarded by those providing support, Megan's unwavering enthusiasm makes her a vital member of our village. Megan's love for percussion instruments contributes to her unique personality. Whether exploring beats alone or sharing joy with others, her rhythmic prowess adds a harmonious layer to our community. Megan's musical talents not only showcase her creativity but also inspire others through her monthly music classes for the Harbor community.  In addition to musical pursuits, Megan excels as an aunt to her niece Evelyn. A friend notes, "She always finds a way to teach Evelyn something, whether it’s numbers or colors, or how to share and say thank you." Megan's versatile engagement in learning activities enriches the environment for all around her.  Described as a "sweet soul" radiating warmth, Megan is treasured by service providers and fellow clients. "Megan has brought talents to share with the community, and they enjoy learning from her. She is a marvelous learner and a great friend," expresses a team member. Megan's kindness, musical talents, and enthusiastic approach create a positive impact, making her an exceptionally valued individual within the Harbor family.


Anjali

It has been a pleasure working alongside Anjali and witnessing her growth in her role, cultivating deeper connections with those she supports. Anjali consistently demonstrates eagerness to engage in various activities, bringing an abundance of enthusiasm. Her natural ability to motivate others is truly commendable. Anjali, a kindhearted individual, aspires to assist those around her in becoming their most authentic and best selves. I have observed her evolution since the inception of her position here, witnessing her initial uncertainties about being a caregiver due to her young age and personal growth journey. Over the years, she has become an integral part of LeRoy's support team and others she collaborates with. Every encounter with her brings a smile to my face. Anticipation always builds for the remarkable performance she'll make on every year's camping trip. Her gift of song is complimented by her wonderful personality. Anjali spreads love and joy to everyone she meets. Harbor is fortunate to have someone like her, radiating positivity. We've witnessed Anjali's transformation into adulthood and as a dedicated support staff member, and I eagerly anticipate our continued collaboration and her ongoing growth. Anjali, you are a rockstar, and we appreciate you! - John


UPCOMING EVENTS



MUSIC CLASS

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play percussion instruments or brush up on your skills? Megan Oatey will start having percussion classes once a month. Megan will be bringing instruments like maracas, triangles and much more. Megan has been playing instruments for over seven years and she is also looking to brush up on her skills by teaching others and having a great time learning. If you are interested please join us at the Harbor office every Friday March 8th from 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Swim Time

Every Friday - 12:00 PM  979 17th Ave

Join in for a swim every Friday at the Simpkins Family Swim Center & Live Oak Community Center in Santa Cruz, CA. This time is set aside for low-stimulation activities, providing a quieter environment. Feel free to ask for special equipment at the desk. There's no need to sign up; just show up and check in with the desk, mentioning you are with Shared Adventures, and the cost will be covered! Enjoy a delightful warm pool time at 88 degrees, with a ramp, pool chair, and lift available.



 

FOLLOW OUR CALENDAR

We have a calendar on our website with current event details. Save it to your bookmarks & reference throughout the month!

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS!

We would love to feature your photos in our upcoming newsletters. Please send any photos via e-mail to:
newsletter@harborsls.org

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