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Agency Buildings Currently Closed Due to COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has already led to a number of changes in our country in a very short time. Many stores and businesses are temporarily closing and people are being asked to stay at home as much as possible. This is to help prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus between people, as it appears to be highly contagious.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is ordering Illinois residents to "Shelter in Place" beginning on Saturday, March 21. The details are forthcoming, but Cornerstone is moving forward with new procedures to reduce the risk of transmission. This is in addition to those we have already implemented. Day programs are currently closed. Residents who live in our group homes are generally staying at home, and get wellness checks each morning. Our employees are also screened before entering any Cornerstone building.
First, we are adopting a "No Visitors" policy for all agency locations--including our group homes. This is an especially difficult decision, as we know how important it is for families to spend time with their loved ones. But the state is recommending we limit the number of people who enter our homes, and believe this is a sound policy. Parents and guardians who wish to bring their loved one home may do so, but we will not allow them to return to Cornerstone until at least April 15, 2020--possibly longer depending on directives from the state. Again, this is a difficult decision to make, but the safety of all of our staff and residents is paramount.
Secondly, most of our staff who are not working in group homes at this time will be working remotely. Therefore, face-to-face meetings will not be possible. Emails and phone calls are welcome if you have any questions or concerns. As this is a new procedure for us, we ask for your patience as we make adjustments and staff learn to use some new technology.
It is difficult to say how long we may operate under these circumstances. Right now, we are planning for at least April 15, as mandated by the state. We will follow their recommendations and those of the Center for Disease Control in any future planning.
Of course we will continue the lines of communication for any updates or changes we may make in the future. Thank you again for your support of our agency through the duration of this challenging time in our history.
Day Program Closure Due to COVID-19 I want to inform you of some changes that will be taking place at Cornerstone over the next few weeks as we join others in the community to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19. As you know, this is a unique and challenging time. Most of us have never lived through a situation like this, but by following the guidelines of authorities and maintaining robust health and safety standards--including "social distancing" to limit contact between people--COVID-19 will hopefully be on the decline.
With the well-being of our staff and individuals who receive services in mind, and following a directive from the State of Illinois, Cornerstone will be closing all of its day programs beginning Tuesday, March 17 and continuing through at least Wednesday, April 15.
Those individuals who live in Cornerstone group homes will continue to receive support from the agency in their own homes, and have the opportunity to participate in activities with agency staff in the home. Those who live in other provider homes or with families will be unable to attend agency programming at this time. Other arrangements will be necessary through at least April 15, 2020.
Our staff receive annual training in universal precautions--including the cleaning and disposal of materials that may harbor viruses. While it is always an imperative to keep our houses and facilities clean, we are taking extra care to ensure that all surfaces will be disinfected even more frequently.
I want to thank you for your understanding of our decision to close day programs during this unique period of time. Your cooperation will ultimately be a crucial step toward returning to normal operations as soon as possible.
President/CEO, Cornerstone Services, Inc.
Cornerstone Statement on Coronavirus As you are well aware, the COVID-19 virus is cause for concern across much of the country. The number of known cases is currently relatively low in Illinois, and the recent cancellations of large public events will hopefully slow the spread of the virus in our area. Nevertheless, those of you with a personal connection to Cornerstone are likely wondering what procedures we have in place to help mitigate the Coronavirus in our agency locations.
The health and safety of our staff and individuals who receive services is Cornerstone's top priority. We follow the recommendations set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to help contain the spread of this illness. Effective March 16, 2020, every staff, visitor, and program participant who enters our facilities will be required to answer three screening questions before being granted access. The questions concern recent travel abroad, contact with any person known or suspected to have COVID-19, and the current health status of the person intending to enter the building. Any person with a fever or respiratory illness will be denied entry to any of our buildings, and be recommended to be seen by a health care professional immediately.
Residents in Cornerstone group homes have access to a team of medical professionals and house staff who routinely monitor their well-being. However, in light of the COVID-19 illness, they will be performing enhanced daily wellness checks to ensure they are able to participate in our community day programs. Any resident with a fever or respiratory illness will be promptly seen by a medical professional and not return to regular programs until cleared by a physician.
We believe that with these procedures in place, Cornerstone is in a stronger position to counter the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health of our staff and program participants.
I want to thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.
President/Chief Executive Officer
Buy Your Spring Raffle Tickets Here Cornerstone's 2020 Spring Raffle is on!
You can support people with disabilities and win some great cash prizes!
This year's funds will be used to help purchase equipment for our new fully-accessible fitness center for people with disabilities. we plan to begin construction on the center later this summer!
Each $5 ticket is a chance to win $2500, $1500, or $500!
(If you are buying tickets from a Cornerstone staff member, be sure to include his or her name in the memo box when making your payment.)
Cornerstone One of Will County's Top Employers Cornerstone is thrilled to announce that we have been voted one of Will County's best employers by readers of the Joliet Herald-News! Community members clearly recognize the high-quality services we offer to people with disabilities and the talented, dedicated staff members who provide them on a day to day basis.
There are many benefits to working at Cornerstone. If you are interested in joining our team, please visit our "Careers" page.
Read Our Latest Newsletter! Cornerstone's First Quarter 2020 Newsletter is out and you can read it right here! Find out about the many exciting activities that have taken place at the agency over the past few months--including celebrating our 50th Anniversary and new success stories.
Cornerstone 2018 Annual Report Cornerstone's 2018 Annual Report is now available online! Learn about our achievements over the past year and meet some of the people who are making progress every day at the agency.
AGENCY ANNOUNCES NEW MICRO-PANTRIES FOR COMMUNITY JOLIET - Cornerstone Services is pleased to announce the establishment of three new micro-pantries in Joliet community, giving residents an additional community resource. They were constructed and installed at Cornerstone locations by volunteers from The Horton Group, an Orland Park-based insurance agency.
Micro-pantries are small containers that make it easy for people in need to pick up food or other supplies anonymously. Open to everyone, the wooden box has a protective door and shelves containing non-perishable food, as well as other staples, such as diapers for babies. Those who wish to donate are invited to replace items in the box at any time.
"We are very grateful to the team at The Horton Group for donating their time and resources to make these micro-pantries available. It is a much-needed resource for our community," said Cornerstone President/CEO Ben Stortz.
The Will County area is now home to several micro-pantries, along with others in the southwest suburban region. The newest micro-pantries are at Cornerstone's 800 Black Road, 2174 Oneida, and 2401 W. Jefferson St. locations.
Cornerstone is a leading provider of services for adults and children with disabilities in Illinois. The not-for-profit social service agency provides services to over 1,100 individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities in Will and Kankakee Counties. Celebrating 50 years of services in 2019, Cornerstone is a member agency of the United Way of Will County.
The Horton Group is an award-winning insurance, employee benefits, and risk advisory firm founded in Orland Park in 1972. They now have offices in five states across the Great Lakes region.
For more information, visit www.cornerstoneservices.org.
For information on The Horton Group, visit www.thehortongroup.com.