Dear Udac friends, family and individuals served,
Udac has closely monitored the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) guidance and bulletins during the past 12 weeks to assure that we open as soon and as safely as we possibly can. Our goal is, and always has been, to provide a safe and a positive experience to those we are privileged to serve. We are as impatient as anyone to fully re-open and provide the programs that you want, and tell us frequently you miss. Thank you for the phone calls, emails and conversations letting us know you miss your programs and support from Udac. We have enjoyed hearing from you.
Recently, the Department of Human Services provided the guidelines Udac needs to open up programs and services. These guidelines have specific requirements for in-person services. Individuals who live with their family or in their own home are eligible to receive services at our location. Currently, those who live in congregate settings such as group homes or licensed foster care are not yet able to receive these in-person services.
Udac is opening up services gradually and in a phased-in manner. The first phase is community support for individuals being called back to work and employment support programs and other programs that can be provided remotely. The second phase will be community activities and programs that support social activities and skill building. The third phase will include in-person services and programs in the building. This phased plan follows the directions and mandates of DHS and MDH and allows Udac to gradually open up services to a growing number of people.
Udac is committed to helping you accomplish your goals and to respecting your informed choices. This includes the right to stay home and not receive services. DHS has formalized this by adding language to assure individuals feel comfortable with the choice to stay home or receive services outside their home. Udac’s 2020 Individual Rights Policy includes this addition.
As Udac progresses in opening up services, especially in-person services in the building, additional information will be provided on what that entails. We will reach out to individuals that meet the criteria to invite them back and to discuss their individual needs and preferences. We know there will be significant changes for the structure of these programs since very specific guidance has been provided on the length of the day, limits on transportation, numbers of people that may be in the building and specific building cleaning and sanitizing guidelines. We know these requirements are subject to change and will address these areas more fully as we get close to providing services in the building.
During the 12 weeks of mandated closure, it became clear that Udac was not able to meet the needs of our business partners for confidential document shredding and mailing services. After a deliberative and thoughtful dialogue the decision was made to permanently close these services. This decision was not taken lightly and while it means a change, we are looking forward to the opportunity to more fully integrate into the community with our programs. We want to say thank you to our valued business partners for their years of dedicated business. As importantly, thank you to the individual’s that worked in these areas. Your contributions and work were important and valued.
There have been many changes to each of our lives and there will be many more as we navigate this pandemic and the impact that it has had on our employment, our families and our community. It has demanded that all of us be creative, flexible and thoughtful in addressing the many challenges. We hear you, that you miss your programs, your work and your friends. Please know that all of us at Udac miss you. We are working as safely and carefully, and as fast as we can to respond to the guidelines and mandates that we are given to open our programs and welcome you back. Udac is different and forever changed and we are looking forward, optimistic that the changes provide new opportunities in the delivery of exceptional programs and services.
Warm regards and stay well,