MUSCATINE, Iowa–As the November general election approaches, Crossroads has taken the initiative to introduce their clients and staff members to a selection of politicians who represent Muscatine or Iowa at the federal, state, and local level. “Our goal as a Crossroads team and leadership is to advocate for our staff and clients and to involve our clients in choices,” explained Marketing and Communications and Executive Assistant for Vision 2020 Megan Francis, who works closely with both Crossroads and Senior Resources. “They have rights just like everyone of us.”
Aug. 23, Crossroads arranged for United States Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks to meet with day-habilitation clients, getting to know them and learning more about how her work as a United States representative can assist people with disabilities and the people who care for them. Miller-Meeks came to see them in the fellowship hall of Trinity Episcopal Church in Muscatine, which frequently serves as a meeting place for the day-habilitation clients as they participate in various activities in downtown Muscatine.
For about an hour, Miller-Meeks spoke with the roughly 25 clients attending day-habilitation that day, getting to know them a bit better by asking about their interests and seeing what games and activities they had selected to do with their friends. Several also shared their work experiences with her, talking about how they benefit from Crossroads’ supported employment program, which can help place people with disabilities in various jobs across the community along with a job coach who can help them navigate their position.
Miller-Meeks, who had visited Crossroads previously to see Collaboration 1, their onsite integrated production facility that provides packaging and other services to companies throughout Muscatine, and Senior Resources, which she assisted with veterans benefits, welcomed the opportunity to get to know more of the clients they served. If reelected, Miller-Meeks would look to continue serving people with disabilities by promoting supported employment programs similar to what Crossroads offers. “Part of this is integrating them into the workforce and part of it is advocating for groups like Crossroads,” she explained. “Making these connections is really very important.”
In dealing with legislation regarding people with disabilities, Miller Meeks also hopes to emphasize, “for all of us to understand the value of people.”
Earlier this summer, Crossroads started their visiting candidates and leaders series by having gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear speak at Crossroads’ main facility. Later in the year, Francis hopes to continue the series by having local leaders, such as Muscatine Mayor Brad Bark and Muscatine Community School District Superintendent Clint Christopher come and speak, as well as several local business leaders.