Community Connections

There is more to me than my disability

aka Community Connections   |   Durango, CO   |  www.communityconnectionsco.org

Mission

The mission of Community Connections, Inc. is to create opportunities for children and adults with Developmental and Intellectual disabilities to lead healthy and fulfilling lives within our community.

Ruling year info

1986

President/CEO

Tara Kiene

Main address

281 Sawyer Drive, Suite 200

Durango, CO 81303 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Community Connections, Inc.

EIN

74-2384155

NTEE code info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

Down's Syndrome (G25)

Autism (G84)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A key theme pervades Community Connections’ past foundations, current passions, and the future trends of the industry. When intellectual and developmental disabilities services moved from large institutions to segregated settings within the community, Community Connections was one of the first agencies in Colorado to push our services to the next step. By the 1990’s, Community Connections had closed all group homes and sheltered workshop settings in preference of smaller, more natural homes and services alongside people without disabilities. Leaders in the IDD field recognize that there is a crucial step from physical presence to social integration within the fabric of the community (Jackson, p 6). The future of Community Connections is fully achieving the next step and serving as a bridge to improve social integration for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their communities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

About Community Connections, Inc.

Community Connections, Inc. has been serving individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Southwest Colorado since 1985. Our company is 1 out of 20 other community centered boards (http://www.cdhs.state.co.us/ddd/) in the state of Colorado. We receive a majority of funding from the State of Colorado but are operated independently by a board of directors.

Community Connections, Inc. offers unique and community-based services to children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities (http://www.cci-colorado.org/index.cfm/fa/category.display/category_id/25). 

Community Connections, Inc. offers services and supports in the family home, residences of adults, vocational/work settings and the community. Nestled in the southwestern region of Colorado, we cover a service area of over 6,584 square miles of mountainous and desert terrain.  The counties we serve include La Plata, Montezuma, Archuleta, Dolores and San Juan (http://www.2chambers.com/colorado.htm) . 

CCI FAQ:
· continuous years of operation since 1985
· One of the largest not-for-profit employers in the region
· Serves over 350 children and adults of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities
· No group homes or sheltered workshops
· Over 80% of DVR adults have jobs
· Over $5 million annual operating budget
· Approximately 11% spent on administrative costs
· Employs approximately 85 staff
· Excellent benefits package and comprehensive training for staff

Population(s) Served

Helping families support and promote a child’s development within family activities and community life, our Early Invention program connects families with services, such as occupational, speech or physical therapy, helping infants and toddlers grow and develop, and helping their families care for them. This is a voluntary program, and does not discriminate based on race, culture, religion, income level, or disability.

Population(s) Served

Community Connections, Inc. is the only organization providing 24/7 comprehensive support and case management services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the five-county region served by CCI. Participants in residential services have access to 24-hour supports either in their own home or in the home of a
paid provider. Supported Living Services participants often live independently or with family, but need some of the other supports available: money management, grocery shopping, cooking meals, help with hygiene, support at their jobs, mentorship, community engagement, respite and assistive technology.

Population(s) Served

The goal of the family support program is to relieve some of the
pressures on families who are caring for a loved one with IDD in their
homes, thereby avoiding costly and distressing out-of-home
placements. Families receive a monthly reimbursement for expenses
associated with the disability. Families access Family Support for
things like respite, transportation to medical specialists, special
equipment, medical treatments and supplements not covered by
insurance, and the costs to attend workshops and conferences to
learn more about their child’s disability. In 2017, 100% of individuals with disabilities participating in the program stayed in their family home.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

Community Centered Board 2020

Awards

Nonprofit of the Year 2008

Community Connections, Inc.

Affiliations & memberships

Community Centered Board 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children with disabilities receiving early intervention services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Early Intervention

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities receiving Supported Living Services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Adult Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of adults with disabilities receiving sufficient social and emotional support

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Adult Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of famlies of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities receiving Family Support services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Family Support

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of adults of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities receiving residential (DD Waiver) services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Adult Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children with autism spectrum disorder receiving a first evaluation by age 36 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Early Intervention

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our Goal: Social Integration for children and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. We understand social integration as the experience of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live as contributing members of their communities, and thereby experience regular and positive interactions with their fellow citizens. Social integration includes participation in social networks, memberships in clubs/associations, mutual friendships, performing a variety of social roles. Simply put, social integration means people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the chance to live the same quality of life and participate in their communities in same ways that people without disabilities do.

Strategic priorities + objectives :
1-Improve opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to engage a. Educate people with IDD about benefits of broadened engagement and opportunities. b. Increase transportation opportunities provided by paid or unpaid supports. c. Increase community employment and volunteering. d. Increase access to and appropriate use of technology that supports integration.
2-Increase community education & outreach - a. Increase engagement of community members with IDD. b. Equip employees and volunteers as community ambassadors.
3-Diversify & Increase Funding - a. Increase funding from sources other than Medicaid, State General Fund, & Part C Federal funds
4-Improve Processes & Operations - a. Develop a robust program evaluation program. b. Implement accepted principles of Quality Improvement Strategies throughout the organization. c. Implement a coordinated, competency-based training program that covers all agency positions.

Able leadership, dedicated staff and an organizational culture committed to excellence and continued quality improvement are among the capabilities CCI possesses and help us to meet our stated goals. Additionally, CCI uses a systematic continuous quality improvement process that starts with identifying areas we must do well in order to achieve our mission. Those areas that relate to client success are Client Wellness and Work Life Satisfaction. For each of these key Result Areas we have measures that act as dashboard indicators. We compare our current state to what is needed and desired by the individuals in our services. When there is an indication that something needs attention our quality department drills down into the data to determine if we are experiencing common cause variation or special variation. Based on that analysis, a determination is made regarding chartering a quality improvement team made up of individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the process under review.

CCI manages a variety of programs that lend themselves to different evaluation methods. For instance, in our EI program, children's skills and knowledge are assessed at admission and again at transition. These assessments can show us if the children in the program increased their skills and knowledge to close the gap between their development and their typically developing peers. Currently, evaluations show that 100% of EI participants increase their skills and knowledge. Our Family Support program performs an annual survey with families to assess whether the program helps reduce parental stress and keep their child with a disability in the family home (both intended outcomes of the program). In our 2017-18 survey, 100% of families responded satisfaction with the Family Support program and that they receive the support and resources they need. Our Adult Services program combine annual satisfaction surveys with evaluations of life quality and progress in achieving personal goals.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In early 2020, our CEO/President convened senior staff to question our assumptions about our work and re-envision how we operate. She is prescient, as COVID-19 was not in our vocabulary at this time. One major change that resulted from the convening is the focus on bringing people with disabilities more into our organization at every level - from intro-level staff to board members. We need to walk our talk more than having a few board members of eleven be the people we serve, or their parents or guardians. We are in the process of developing plan to approach our work that has people with intellectual and developmental disabilities more integrated into all levels of our operation, particularly advocacy and fundraising efforts that rely on public-facing presentations seek change and/or sup.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Community Connections
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Community Connections

Board of directors
as of 5/26/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Sarah Kahn

Self-Employed as a Licensed Professional Counselor

Term: 2018 - 2020


Board co-chair

Bob Conrad

Jim DeNier

Co-owner Bechtolt Engineering

Bob Conrad

Retired Hospital Administrator

Alexandra Rodriquez

StoneAge Waterblast Tools

Sarah Shedd

Professional Counselor

Anne Kernan

Retired Educator

Richard Siegele

Community Speaker

Janice Moen

CPA

Cynthia Sadler

Teacher & Trust Administrator

Kicki Searfus

Family Physician, Direct Primary Care Practice

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/26/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/26/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.