Advancing the CP Unlimited Mission in New Ways: An Update from Joseph M. Pancari
Dear Friends of CP Unlimited,
As the spring season makes our days warmer, I write to you with an update about CP Unlimited to highlight how we are advancing our vital mission this year.
I last shared how our initial efforts to drive further collaboration between the offices of OPWDD (Office of People with Developmental Disabilities) and OMH (Office of Mental Health) around supportive residences for people with a dual diagnosis were beginning to take root. I am pleased to report that the Agency recently met with Senator John Mannion and select affiliates to discuss a series of legislative steps to establish a new model of home to properly serve this population; I will continue to update you on its path to hopeful approval.
For the field, we have also continued to muster our convening work, bringing together providers to consult on outreach and advocacy, and assembling the largest contingent of CP staff in organizational history at rallies for increased Cost of Living Adjustment rates for the work of Direct Support Professionals throughout February and March in Albany and New York City. We are encouraged by what we have seen from the New York State Senate and Assembly because our DSPs make up the backbone of the CP workforce and our duty to them is only matched by their commitment to the people we support.
Building on these projects, we held a number of engaging programs to provide a wider array of experiences for our network and grow awareness of CP Unlimited: Locally across the Five Boroughs, we are making concerted efforts to develop our connections to elected officials with the goal of providing our services and supports to their constituency, while cultivating funding prospects and spreading social activism. In addition, a recent series of Open Houses at CP Day Habilitation and Article 16 settings allowed us to meet new neighbors in the communities we call home, while in Staten Island our wheelchair cleanings and repair clinics were able to get people and veterans more mobile and independent.
Up in the Hudson Valley, a new recruitment initiative has brought talented folks from Jamaica, Nigeria, and other international locales to expand their workforce like never before. The upcoming Spring Fling on May 6 and June 14 event with the HV Renegades will provide fun—and formally dressed—occasions to meet and celebrate with our team.
This is all to say that I am optimistic 2023 will continue to be a year of exciting change, where we take meaningful steps towards our shared vision for a more equitable world for people with I/DD. For more frequent updates, I invite you to explore our website and social media pages.
Your contributions matter. Thank you for being a champion of our mission to help people with I/DD achieve fulfilling lives.
Joseph M. Pancari
President & CEO