Young Adult Activities for March!

Please stay tuned for updates. Look forward to seeing all of you at these fun events 🙂

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True Meaning of Pride

For both staff and clients in Common Ground, as for other social rehab clubs throughout the state, there is always plenty of work to be done. Much of the time, the work is thankless, as I wrote in my testimony before the Appropriations Committee at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on February 18th. Seven of us testified that night in opposition of the Governor’s proposed cuts to important funding that helps keep people out of costly emergency room visits every single day.

Sometimes, the work we do is not thankless at all. In fact, seeing our members, staff and executive leadership get up and testify year after year has been an honor. This year was no exception. One person, in particular was especially brave, testifying on behalf of our friend, a fellow advocate whom had passed away two days prior to the hearing.

Carol G. has been coming to Common Ground for 18 years, and I never miss an opportunity to remind her that if she keep utilizing this service, she ought to be getting out of her comfort zone and doing new things. She always swore that she would not testify. Last year, her seventeenth in the program, I was able to coach her through the first ever writing of testimony. She felt great to have contributed for the first time to an effort in which she had always been loosely involved. This year, she wrote her testimony and testified in front of a committee of legislatures, some of which already knew her on a first name basis! Carol has always worked so hard to make these connections, but now she was really stepping out of her comfort zone. Perhaps now she has earned some time without my pestering.

I have a whole new sense of pride, the likes of which I have never felt, thanks to her and her friends who testified that Thursday night after the passing of our dear friend and fellow advocate. Other Intercommunity staff and clients who testified included Kim Beauregard, Torry B, Benjamin R, Lynn E, Frank E, and Alan C – True heroes living  and working right among the rest of us. No matter the outcome in this year’s budget, I will be proud knowing that we never stopped fighting for what we believe in and never stopped pushing to get outside of our comfort zone to change our world, as well as ourselves, for the better.

Anthony

Photos from News 8

Common Ground Members were on the news last week, being interviewed by Mark Davis of News 8, WTNH, regarding the proposed budget cuts. Next week, we will all head to the LOB in Hartford to testify on the same subject. Please get your testimony in before the end of this week so we can submit them to the KTP coalition.

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Bob shares his story

 

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The team provides some “B Roll” for the camera crew

 

So Much Support

InterCommunity’s Basketball Team had tons of support at their last game. Staff, members and family came out in a large way to route on their favorite case workers, therapists and executives. InterCommunity lost the game, but last year taught us that regular season record has no bearing on the outcome of a season, as the team won the championship. We look forward toward the upcoming playoff push and know that the support from the greatest group of people in the world wont waiver one bit.

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IMPORTANT! Appropriations Hearing at the LOB

On Thursday, February 18th, the Appropriations Committee will hear testimony from people interested in NEW proposed cuts to the DMHAS Budget. We will submit testimony and go as a team to testify on this issue. Testimony should be written several days in advance and submitted to us so we can then submit it to Maura at NAMI. Remember that speakers only have 3 minutes to complete their testimony, which means all of us should practice our speeches ahead of time to ensure we come in under that limit.

We should be as excited as possible to complete this process, despite the fact that this is a very sad situation, once again. We have had a lot of good experience in this area now and should flew our muscles we have built over recent years. We are unified, we are strong, and we need to make our voices heard.

We should leave for the event around 3 PM and will plan to be there for a long time 🙂