Stories & Dreams Worth Sharing

I am always amazed by how many stories there are to tell.

At Laura Baker Services Association (LBSA), we made a commitment to our staff members in February 2023: providing pay increases for everyone of up to 30%. This time, we also raised wages for our household directors, Qualified Developmental Disability Professionals (QDDP), kitchen staff, administrative support staff and the administrative team. Some of these people had not had increases since 2018.

Since September 2020, we have raised direct support wages by 65%. We had not received permanent rate increases from the legislature to pay for those increases and were unable to hire and retain staff members without providing these increases. Without staff members, we were unable to support the people who were asking us to support them.

Bridging the Gap

We have counted on, and been very grateful for, the support we have received from all of you. Every dollar counts. Our fundraising goal for 2023 is $750,000, and we have miles to go before we reach it.

The 2023 legislature provided legislative increases of about 18% for all of our residential services, for which we are very grateful – and grateful to all of you who raised your voices to let legislators know how important their support was. Those rates go into effect January 2024 (we were hoping for July 2023). This means your support continues to be vital to help us bridge the gap between 2023 and 2024.

We are grateful that the COVID-19 public emergency has ended so we can return to activities and other opportunities for all of our clients.

In other news,

  • We’ve started providing Housing Support Services at Evergreen Lofts in Faribault for people experiencing longterm homelessness.
  • We are currently looking for tenants for Spring Creek II: people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who need minimal daily support and/or who have their own support available, and whose income is 30% of the median income. Four units will be available, with leases beginning August 2023! LBSA will provide support for the people who live there – assisting with making connections to community resources as well as assisting with landlord issues and other similar types of support. Read more on the back cover.
  • We reopened North Oak and are planning to open Elwell beginning in September.
  • We have restarted our in-person monthly respite events and have also added a monthly Gaming Night event. Learn more.
  • We are happy to welcome Colleen Thomas to our team as the new Director of Finance. She has over 30 years of accounting and finance experience and comes to us from CornerHouse, a not-for-profit service provider.
  • We are continuing to develop Behavioral Support Services. Watch for announcements beginning this fall.
  • We have been asked to take over management of a twoperson house in Northfield and are working toward a September 1 date. The house is fully occupied and has been in service for many years.
  • We are looking ahead and planning for our Flannel Gala on September 21 and annual Gala on December 2.

Everyday Magic

And that’s the big stuff. Most importantly, every day, our amazing staff members support people to make dreams come true. Those stories and experiences are what make all the risks and challenges worth navigating. Seeing people blossom is the stuff dreams are made of.