July 7, 2020

To:  All WACOSA stakeholders

From:  Steve Howard, Executive Director

Re:  Update on WACOSA’s services

We here at WACOSA hope you continue to remain well as we navigate these difficult times. As we have continued to do, we wish to keep you updated regarding the most recent events/decisions related to our services here at WACOSA.  As is often the case, you may hear bits and pieces of information regarding the actions/plans we have/are putting into place at WACOSA.  To avoid potential misinformation and confusion, we provide the following update.

The unforeseen toll of the current pandemic has made it necessary to look forward and make adjustments/changes at WACOSA now so we can remain a strong and viable service provider long into the future.  You may recall WACOSA is only reimbursed for the services we provide, as clients attend our programs.  At present, current prohibitions by Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and the governor’s office related to serving clients in congregate living settings, has resulted in WACOSA not receiving over 90% of the funding with which we have traditionally operated.  The current situation has become unsustainable at the levels we have been supplementing it financially for the past 4 months.

In order to ensure WACOSA’s ability to provide services well into the future, we are implementing some difficult decisions to restructure our programs/services. To this end, we will be eliminating several positions in various departments and will be implementing both unpaid furloughs/layoffs at all levels of the organization.  It is our intent to call staff back to work consistent with the speed at which we can resume services to a broader range of our clientele.  While our staff and services will likely look somewhat different as services come back on-line once the pandemic abates, rest assured we will continue to provide services with the same passion and commitment to the many clients, staff and stakeholders who remain a valued part of our organization. To this end, should we lose staff, we are hopeful they might again choose to work for WACOSA as future events may allow. 

As we continue working to address the challenges we are facing, we do so setting clear principles for our decision-making that are consistent with WACOSA’s enduring belief in the value of our many stakeholders and staff.  Throughout this most recent decision-making process, we have sought through every change to ensure our decisions: 1) align with our mission, values and long-term vision; 2) demonstrate care and stewardship of our many resources; 3) protect our core strengths; 4) accelerate innovation to invest in our future; and, 5) prioritize investments of our resources that build our potential for greater client service delivery in the future.

We thank you for your patience during this time and encourage you to reach out to one of WACOSA’s Administrative Team members should you have questions.  Additionally, please continue to monitor WACOSA’s various points of social media including our website (www.wacosa.org), our Facebook page and our recorded phone line for the most up-to-date information we can share regarding our services at this time.   If you prefer, our informational email is also available at info@wacosa.org.

Thank you.