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Agency Update for May 28, 2020

I hope you all had a pleasant Memorial Day weekend and are enjoying these early "previews" of summer weather. It has been a little over a month since my last update, and I wanted to let you know what Cornerstone has been up to lately, as well as what changes will be taking place in the near future regarding our services during the coronavirus pandemic.

While there has been a lot of talk about "reopening" of businesses across the country, it's important to remember that Cornerstone itself never really "closed." Our day programs have been on hiatus under a statewide order since early March, but all of our employees have continued working to provide services and operational support. Many agency staff have been providing activities and training to over 250 residents at our group homes. Technology has been a valuable tool for our behavioral health team, who maintains regular communication with individuals receiving permanent supportive housing from the agency. And, despite the recent serious downturn of our nation's economy, our employment services team still secured three job placements for workers with disabilities in April!

As our state is poised to soon enter Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan, I wanted to let you know about the changes that will be coming to Cornerstone over the summer, as we hope to gradually resume a more familiar service model.

Our day programs will remain on hiatus through June 30, as directed by the state. Residents will continue to participate in activities and training in their homes, with plenty of opportunities to get outside and safely keep active in the warmer weather.

Some of our behavioral health team will begin to offer programming at our Black Road location, though many services will still be provided remotely.

We plan to resume our contract packaging operations at West jefferson Street on a limited scale by mid-June. The companies we work with have been extremely supportive of our need to temporarily halt this service, but I know they are as eager as we are to get some production up and running again.

Staff members who are able to work remotely will continue to do so as much as possible, but other employees will be slowly returning to our buildings. Everyone who enters a Cornerstone building will be required to wear a face covering, especially in common areas of buildings or in the presence of others. Social distancing of at least six feet is also mandatory. We plan to administer temperature checks to all who enter our buildings.

Over the past two months the community has shown tremendous support for our mission. We have received many donations from individuals and businesses, including personal protective equipment, cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, and financial contributions.

Just a reminder that our Spring Raffle drawing has been rescheduled to Thurs., June 18. If you would like to purchase tickets, you can order them on this website--just click on our Events page.

Cornerstone's Board of Directors and I appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we work to develop a "new normal" for the agency. All of us at the agency thank you all for your support to help make this journey a safer one.

Ben Stortz

Double Your Gift to Cornerstone this Spring!
Now more than ever, we're so grateful for the community that has funded, volunteered, celebrated, and advocated for Cornerstone Services through the years. At a time when everything feels uncertain, we find comfort and encouragement knowing that you care about our cause. While much of the world has stopped, our mission of helping people with disabilities to live and work in the community will continue.

That's why we're asking you to help us cover the cost of continuing our work together by making a donation today as we adapt to ever-changing circumstances due to COVID-19. While all of us are facing great challenges at this time, we hope that you can find some peace knowing that our residents will receive the same level of care because of your generosity.

From now through June 1, 2020, donations to Cornerstone are eligible for a generous matching gift from The Coleman Foundation.

Will you make a gift today and help us reach our goal of $50,000 to cover unexpected expenses related to combating COVID-19?

Click here to make an online gift, eligible for a match from the Coleman Foundation.

Agency Update for April 22, 2020
Many of you are wondering how Cornerstone is doing during the current COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a little over a month since Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a "Shelter in Place" order for all of Illinois, changing nearly everything about the way we provide services. Nevertheless, we have adapted to these temporary changes, and our creative, dedicated, and very essential staff are innovating new ways to keep residents active and engaged.

The "Shelter in Place" order has been extended to May 30, 2020, and our day programs and main offices will continue to be closed until then.

If you follow us on Facebook, you may have seen photos of our residents celebrating birthdays, making face masks, and visiting family with a smartphone. Because day programs were closed across the state in early March, most services are occurring in our group homes. A very notable exception is the behavioral health department, whose team utilizes technology for counseling and other check-ups on those who live independently.

The safety of everybody at Cornerstone is a top priority, and we continue to seek personal protective equipment (PPE) for use in our homes. We have been fortunate to buy protective gear when possible, and have also received much-appreciated donations of PPE, hand sanitizer, and cloth masks. We continue well-checks of all residents twice a day and monitor staff for symptoms of COVID-19 before they can enter buildings and homes.

By taking early measures to protect the health of our employees and residents, we followed state and federal guidelines to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Our efforts have been mostly successful, but I am sad to report that one individual in a group home passed away from complications related to COVID-19. In addition, we have also learned of the loss of two other individuals who did not reside with Cornerstone, but attended our community day services. Our service area has been heavily affected by the Coronavirus, and we mourn the loss of them and others in our community.

This has been a difficult time for everyone in our nation and across the globe, but the outpouring of support from Cornerstone's friends and families has been remarkable. For those of you who have inquired about ways to make a financial contribution to our agency during this crisis, I encourage you to visit our website at From now through June 1, 2020, donations to the agency are eligible for a generous matching gift from The Coleman Foundation.

Together, we will move beyond these challenging times and find opportunity in a brighter tomorrow.

Ben Stortz

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!

You can purchase ticket here: CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS

(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.

Click Here for 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.

You can download the newsletter right here: Cornerstone First Quarter 2020 Newsletter

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.

To view the report, click Here

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Cornerstone is an Illinois-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), fully licensed by local, state, and federal agencies and is accredited by CARF, The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission.
The agency accepts Medicaid and private insurance. Cornerstone is a member agency of the United Way of Will County

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Copyright 2020, Cornerstone Services, Inc. Administrative Offices, 777 Joyce Road, Joliet IL 60436 / p 815.741.7600 / f 815.723.1177

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