Central Oregon Collective is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that was established in the 80’s. We have around 70 staff members, most being Direct Support Professionals, and are currently serving about 40 individuals of varying abilities. We have 5 group homes and also operate an apartment complex. We have a small Board of Directors which provide direction and oversight of the Executive Director who is charged with fulfilling the mission of the organization.

Our community is intricate, ever-changing, and hosts a wide variety of ideas and values, making our role within it so important. Not only do we envision communities of full inclusion, personal choice, and meaningful contribution for all, we provide people the needed support to get there, showing them the way to being a vital part of their community. 

So what does that mean and who exactly are we referring to? “The people we support are your friends, neighbors, and family that experience intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.” -Amy Ryan, Senior Manager of Human Resources

This can mean a variety of disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, and other physical or intellectual disabilities that prevent a person from fully participating in community life or have trouble living independently at home. 

lady painting a heart

What is our process?

“Everyone goes through eligibility and assessment processes so they can access specific Medicaid services that the State of Oregon has agreed with the federal government to provide. Many, if not most, of these services and supports are provided to avoid institutional placement, something our state used to be invested in. The State and Deschutes County I/DD program work together to complete the eligibility and assessment processes and then provide case management services to help the person find providers of the services and supports that they need (documented in their annual Individual Support Plan (ISP). NOTE: Deschutes County provides us with “referrals” for services; we cannot provide services without county authorization. The ISP is a contract for support where the person is at the center of all essential decision-making. Families, guardians, friends, providers, and whoever the person wants to be involved comprise a team to ensure only the best outcomes”. -Amy Ryan, Senior Manager of Human Resources

To get a better understanding of what services and supports Oregon IDD Medicaid funds, we’ve put together this brief list:

24-hour group homes: Housing is provided with five or fewer eligible individuals living together with support staff awake and available at all times. Meals, personal care, transportation, skill development and maintenance, socialization opportunities, and access to family and friends, are all part of this service arrangement. Resident personal choices are supported to the fullest degree possible. 

In-Home Support: Individuals might live in their own home or apartment and contract with us for the support they need to live and fully participate in community life. This can mean help with medications, groceries, appointments, and lots of other aspects of daily living.

Supported Living: Much like in-home support, the focus isn’t on where you live, but what you need to live more fully. We purchased a 20-unit apartment complex as people needed support but couldn’t afford housing costs in Bend. These arrangements can vary widely in terms of what support is needed, from very minor daily check-ins to live-in staff to help the person be safe and access the choices they want.

Community Inclusion (Daily Support Activities): These services are designed for individual and small group access to all things community. Shopping, attending events, gaining skills to access everything more independently, planning and going on trips near and far, dating, you name it. At the center is the person choosing how and all the details of fuller inclusion in the community of their choice. Sometimes these services are used to help the person move toward employment.

Representative Payee services: We provide people with the option to have us manage their finances under the Social Security Administration’s financial guidelines. Mostly this means paying bills, keeping track of spending money, and helping with planning larger expenditures and the like.

Central Oregon Collective visiting a nearby rodeo in Central Oregon

So why might we be important to you?

In a previous blog, we discussed the importance of community inclusion. Caring for other members of our community can open up so many opportunities to strengthen and grow ourselves and the world we live in. Community inclusion creates mutual respect, promotes high self-esteem, reduces loneliness and depression, helps foster friendships, and motivates people to celebrate diversity and difference. Our mission may be important to you personally or indirectly, and at the end of the day, we believe in the sanctity of the human spirit and in one’s own worthiness and value to others.

If you experience an intellectual/developmental disability, or a family member/friend does, and you need services/supports or are dissatisfied with the provision of these services from your current provider, we’d be happy to help! Please contact us or a Deschutes County IDD services coordinator and ask for a meet and greet to see if we can help you get where you want to go. 

Other ways to get involved

We are always looking for community members interested in supporting our mission by serving on the Board of Directors. These are volunteer, non-paid positions that require monthly meetings, acting as ambassadors in the community, and helping with fundraising efforts periodically.

Alternatively, we are always looking for great people to join our team. Direct Support positions are highlighted by 12-hour shifts (so you have several days off each week), part-time opportunities, one-on-one, and group community outings, providing personal care/meals/home upkeep/etc., driving residents to appointments & activities, annual performance increases and monthly excellence bonuses, and great opportunities for advancement. You don’t need to worry if you have enthusiasm but no experience – we provide all the necessary training!

We are happy to be a part of the Bend community and are constantly connecting with other organizations to be able to provide resources to those who may need them. We look forward to continuing our efforts and see nothing but growth in our future!

If you’d like to partner with us in this mission, we would love to connect with you!
Email: amy@inthecollective.com
Phone: (541) 388-3060

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