November 16th, 2016, marked the ninth anniversary for CSI. The occasion gave me great pride as I reflected upon our role in the disability community, and the countless accomplishments that we have been able to achieve, together, over the years.
On the day we opened our doors, we had but one client, one administrator, me, and four staff members. For more than a year, I had been getting up every day a 5 a.m. prior to going to work for a previous employer, preparing our service design, completing government forms, etc., and then magically, the day arrived for us to open our doors.
Since that day, CSI has assisted twenty-eight individuals and their families with fulfilling their dreams of creating meaningful and rich lives in the Santa Cruz and East Bay communities. Our clients continue to make tremendous strides, participating in the myriad opportunities available to them. For many of our clients, living in the community had presented significant challenges in the past, and some had not lived in the general community for decades. Now, these determined individuals, with the help of family members, and their dedicated staff members, have many events and opportunities in their lives that were previously unavailable to them in State institutions.
Today, CSI has more than one hundred and twenty-five staff members, and serves twenty-three clients around the clock. We are also currently in the process of creating a Specialized Residential Facility for youth ages 10-17, and expect to open this program within the next few months.
The past nine years have shown CSI’s model of service to be highly successful in providing individuals with severe behavior and medical needs an avenue to living a rich life. Compared to the annual costs of State institutions or of many private hospital settings, our services are also significantly less expensive. (We estimate that CSI has saved the State approximately $12 M, since our inception, as opposed to the average annual cost per client, had they remained under State care.) Thus, we very much look forward to working with our community partners to move even more people from State institutions to the Santa Cruz community in the coming years.
Thanks to all our supporters, family members, clients, and staff members for the amazing jobs you have done over the past eight years. It has been both my pleasure and my privilege to have built this wonderful agency with you all.