Community Link: A Year in Review

January 17, 2023

Breese, IL – Community Link is excited to share a few of their many accomplishments throughout the 2022 calendar year. In their 50th “golden” anniversary year, the organization took many opportunities to reflect on successes of the last 50 years. They honored this incredible achievement throughout the year at every location. Two of the bigger celebrations included the Special Needs Foundation for Community Link’s “Building for the Future” gala, and the 16th Annual Community Link Buddy Walk. These were both very successful fundraising events for the charity, raising $115,000 and $130,000, respectively.

Though much time was spent in celebration, 2022 was a year where the organization also prepared and planned for a successful future. Community Link is proud to report they completed and submitted action plans for the Department of Human Services (DHS) Home and Community Based Services settings rule that goes into effect in March 2023. This rule will open up more opportunities for participants through informed choices, decision making, and community inclusion. The organization plans to strengthen programs they already have and offer more options while closely documenting participant decisions.

The organization opened a new Activity Room in the East Building. This is a place where the new “Busy Bees” activity group can participate in in-house activities like cooking classes, yoga, art and crafts, and more options beyond work. The “Busy Bees” were also more engaged in community-based activities, like going to movies, walking trails, and visiting parks. To facilitate these offerings, the East Building revised the duties of two Direct Support Professionals to Community Inclusion Specialists and expanded the Community Inclusion Opportunities program.

The Breese West and Fairview Heights (Metro) locations also resumed Community Inclusion Program offerings in 2022. Two of Community Link’s participants were hired as full wage employees at their Red Porch Café in New Baden, IL. A porch renovation project at the Carlyle CILA home enhances accessibility for all.

To round out the year, the Red Porch Café, a partnership between Community Link and Clinton Manor, participated in the Southern Illinois Coffee Trail in October and November, and was voted the #1 coffee shop in Southern Illinois by the IllinoiSouth organization.

Community Link shares these accomplishments with gratitude for all those who made them possible. The dedication of staff, families, friends, board members, volunteers, contributors, and neighbors contributed to these and many more achievements throughout the year.

Community Link is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities through a person-centered approach that promotes self-directed living choices and community integration opportunities. The mission of Community Link is to offer opportunities for growth and independence for people with developmental disabilities.