On May 14, 2020 Gateway Services/the Arc of Johnson County lost longtime friend and advocate for people with disabilities, Ilene Younger Qualkinbush.
Ilene was a registered nurse and mother of two. Inspired by her daughter Susan, who was born with severe developmental disabilities, Ilene helped establish the ARC of Indiana in 1956 where she spent many years a volunteer and staff member.
Ilene was a tireless advocate for people with developmental disabilities and was a consultant for the Indiana Board of Health where she organized genetics workshops throughout Indiana. Ilene has been recognized locally and nationally for her work, including the Sagamore of the Wabash Award.
In 1998, Ilene volunteered her time at Gateway Services to help prepare for our 35th anniversary celebration. She spent many hours reviewing thirty five years’ worth of historical archives in order to write highlights for every year Gateway had operated.
We have Ilene to thank for the phrase we frequently use in agency information.
In November 1962, two mothers from opposite ends of Johnson County met over a cup of coffee to explore the possibilities of establishing a school for their children. Within a week they started knocking on doors . . . and soon located a dozen parents who joined in their efforts.
Thank you Ilene! Your hard work and sacrifice on behalf of citizens with disabilities will always be remembered and appreciated.
Since transportation is considered an essential service it’s lucky for Johnson County residents that Access Johnson County has a group of dedicated drivers & dispatchers still on the job ready to get you to work, medical appointments or grocery stores.
A special shout out to Becky A., Dave B., Darlene B., Rob C., Rhonda D., Jayne G., Joy H., Christine M., Jeff T. and Bonnie W. We love and appreciate all of our drivers, but this group has gone above and beyond during this crisis to get our passengers where they need to go!
As you can see from the pictures, our drivers are wearing masks and we are requiring our passengers to wear masks as well. We’ve also installed plastic curtains around the driver’s seat to help with social distancing.
Our drivers are doing an amazing job of sanitizing surfaces on the bus throughout their shift to keep everyone safe from germs. Lysol and
antibacterial wipes are awesome!
We’ve also moved fare boxes so you can deposit your fare without any contact with the driver. We’re even providing hand sanitizer for you to use as you get on and off the bus.
Please help us all stay and don’t get on a bus if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-191
Our driver’s do a health assessment before they come to work each day and you should do the same before you get on the bus. Do I have a fever, cough or shortness of breath? Get medical help if you do have symptoms!
Let’s all do our part to keep the wheels on our buses moving safely in our community!
For many of us, this mandatory stay at home time is filled with uncertainty and loneliness. For the people that participate in our Day Program, the loss of daily contact with their friends and staff can be especially stressful.
So our wonderful Day Program staff came up with an amazing out of the box idea! They put together a Virtual Day Program for the folks we serve!
If you wonder what that might look like, staff designed a Daily Zoom Calendar with a ton of activities that folks can participate in through their phone, tablet or laptop. Zoom is an app you can download to your device and it allows groups of people to see and hear each other while they meet.
It allows our folks to see and hear staff and their friends. They can go on virtual tours and field trips, join discussion groups, and participate in arts and crafts, cooking lessons or a music group. They can also “meet” individually with staff for some one on one time. Staff are also staying in touch with folks through phone calls and old fashion letter writing!
We want to give a special shout out to our Day Services Staff for their creativity and caring for keeping the people we serve connected during this worldwide pandemic shutdown.
Here’s to our Day Program Team--Teena A, Annie D, Lora H, Jill L, Michelle P, Melissa R, Carol S and Skyler T! Ladies you are awesome!
If only we could wake up from this bad dream, and find it was a very bad April Fools joke. If you know me personally you know I HATE practical jokes. I am not a good sport and I do not take it well. But I so wish this was one practical joke. Would I be mad yes but then the relief would set in.
It has been eleven days since we furloughed most of our employees (with pay of course), in order to help with the spread and to do our part. What has been happening here. Well it has been quiet oh so quiet. I think the first day it was kinda nice from all the hustle and bustle. But eleven days later we are missing our co workers, clients, passengers and other team members. We are looking for ways to stay connected. We are researching Google meet, Zoom and other ways to stay in touch.
What are you doing to stay connected to your peeps? Please share with us in the comments below.
What is social distancing? It is a public health practice that is trying to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce the opportunities for disease transmission.
The latest is stay 6 feet away from everyone. That is harder than you think. I found myself going to the grocery store and every time I passed someone in the aisle I held my breath. Silly I know and I decided if I was that freaked out maybe I should just stay home and eat what I have at home. After all I do live in America and can get to the grocery store if ever I run out of food. We have so much in this country that maybe we should count our blessings instead of being anxious on how much milk, bread, eggs and of all things toilet paper we have.
Enough with all that being said we are sad to announce that we have had to postpone our Annual Banquet. If any of you have ever gone you know this is a very precious and loved event by clients, staff and members of our community. It is a chance to celebrate the last years accomplishments. But don't worry as soon as possible we will hold that much loved event. Until then be safe and practice social distancing. Spend time with your family and friends by teleconference, read, watch movies, catch up on the housework, catch up with old friends by writing a letter and sleep oh blessed sleep.
Everyone has to eat so why not eat at Main & Madison Cafe. They have good food, great service, and they support local not for profit agencies by collecting tips that customers leave. They have picked us for March. So come out and show us your love by visiting this wonderful business. Tell Stephanie that Becky sent you!!
Come out and join the fun on April 25, 2020 for the party.
This event includes 10 K Run, 5 K Walk Family -Friendly, FREE Kids Run, Music, Food, Vendors, Giveaways and Awards!
$25 Early Registrations through April 7th!
But in order for us to continue and be part of this fun filled day we need 15 more people to sign up to run or walk by February 29th and we need only 3 more volunteers.
You can go to www.rocktheblockrun.org to register.
Be sure to pick Gateway Services, Inc / Access Johnson County Public Transit.
Come on peeps show us your LOVE by signing up today! All are welcome and wouldn't it be great to get a whole team together and show them our TEAM SPIRIT!
Now we just need a cool name for our teams. Please submit your ideas too!
ARE YOU RETIRED?
HAVE YOU GOTTEN YOUR HONEY DO LIST DONE?
ARE YOU BORED?
ARE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO GIVE BACK?
COME JOIN OUR TEAM!
We will keep you busy and you will interact with all types of individuals and make a bit of money in the process.
If you have professional experience driving that is a plus if you don't that is not a problem either, that just means we will train you to be a professional driver.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-738-5523 and we can mail you out an application.
We just wanted to be sure everyone knows that Gateway Services, Inc and Access Johnson County Public Transit are closed. Our very tired but dedicated staff need a little rest after working so hard this last year. We had a lot going on in 2019.
Eagle Scout Project, Pet Pawlooza, Lemon Shake Up Stand not to mention all the grant applications we submitted over the course of this last year.
We also have had several annual or triennial compliance reviews this year. There was CARF (we got a 3 year that was the maximum) Transportation was surveyed by INDOT and IndyGo regarding operations and vehicle operations. For the first time every we are self reporters for National Transit Database. We had our annual Agency Audit that started a bit earlier than usual.
These last three months we have had several other fundraisers such as the birth announcements of our triplet medium transit vehicles were delivered, we did an end of year support letter as well.
We wish you are a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Why the name change you ask? We wanted to include all types of pets after all we love them just as much as puppies right???
Gateway Services and KORN Country 100.3FM have teamed up to bring back Pet PAWlooza! Get your pup ready and join us on April 28th at The Sycamore at Mallow Run Winery for an afternoon of animals, shopping, live music, food, beer & wine, and FUN! All proceeds benefit Gateway Services!
Check back here for more details coming soon!