Cornerstone is one of our affordable housing complexes for low-income individuals. While we do house people with disabilities, people with special needs and single mothers with children, this complex is not for those groups exclusively.
Cornerstone offers 30 low income apartments and had accessibility and ADA upgrades completed in 2005. It has a laundry room, onsite maintenance staff, onsite leasing office, weekly access to the onsite food pantry and is in close proximity to bus stops, shopping, entertainment, restaurants, pharmacies and more.
Boyce Gunderlach moved to the Mary Lee Foundation in 1998. Amy had moved to the square just a year or two before Boyce. They both moved from Marbridge which offers assisted living for adults with learning disabilities. The costs at Marbridge were increasing and they needed to find a program that was more affordable.
Boyce and Amy are both in Texas’s Home and Community Based Services Program (HCS). HCS provides individualized services and supports to persons with Intellectual disabilities who are living in their own home or in other community settings. In 2014, the Gunderlach’s were married and moved into their own apartment in the Cornerstone complex.
Boyce and Amy have many friends in Cornerstone and enjoy socializing. They feel a little cooped up because of the pandemic, and are stuck inside watching The Price is Right. When they are able to get outside they like to take the bus and explore what Austin has to offer.
If you would like more information about Cornerstone, please call (512) 448-9628.
One of the early programs of the Mary Lee Foundation, the Transitional Living Program, was designed to get adults with learning disabilities out of institutions and living as independently as possible in the community. It quickly became a successful alternative to institutionalization and although its purpose has changed slightly over the years, it still provides short and long-term care for adults with disabilities.
The Transitional Living Program is perfect for individuals who have a diagnosis of a mental health disorder, traumatic brain injury, low IQ or other disability. There are 9 beds in the facility, some with a roommate to help share housing costs. The program offers case management, nursing care, supervision and reminders for hygiene and chores, medication management, prepared meals, assistance with medical appointments, transportation, leisure activities and more!
Kris came to live with us at the Mary Lee Foundation when she was 25. She has been with us for 29 years now! Kris loves the friendly atmosphere and that her apartment is close to the bus route so that she can get around Austin on her own. She has a roommate that she really likes.
Kris works for a janitorial service in Austin that the Mary Lee Foundation provides transportation to. She is thankful of the staff that help her with her medicine, and schedule and bring her to her doctor’s appointments. The support she receives from the Mary Lee Foundation has allowed her to be part of the South Austin community for almost 3 decades.
If you would like more information about the Transitional Living Program, please call (512) 442-6077.
Just like you, we’re concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are here to support our clients, residents and employees. We’d like to take this opportunity to provide you with some information on what we’ve been up to on the square.
“Our new normal keeps adjusting as we make the best of a difficult situation. We are thinking creatively to meet the needs of all those that call “the square” home, clients, residents and employees.” – Charlene Crump, Director
We continue to follow the Texas guidelines which limits access to our clients with the exception of providers of essential services. The recent “Stay Home – Work Safe” order placed on March 24 didn’t affect us as The Mary Lee Foundation is considered an essential business. Many of our clients with intellectual disabilities that work in the community are food service workers (also considered essential), so we continue to bring them to and from their jobs.
Our screening measures for all employees, clients and essential visitors remain in place. We are looking for signs of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath or sore throat. Hand hygiene remains our number one tool.
We have provided our employees with the CDC prevention guidelines and an easy to follow questionnaire to help diagnose any symptoms related to COVID-19. We’ve provided our residents with a similar questionnaire for symptoms, coronavirus recommendations and a list of local Austin resources that covers healthcare, food, transportation, rental, utilities and employment assistance. Our clients with intellectual disabilities are all sheltering in place and we are keeping them busy with art projects and games.
We recently reached out to our community to help find supplies for our intellectual disabilities program. In response we received cleaning supplies along with several forehead thermometers and several monetary donations. We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received.
If you would still like to help we could still use: hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, hand soap, disinfectant spray, Lysol spray, dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, nitrile or latex gloves, goggles and N95 masks. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If you have an urgent question, as always, please reach out to our Southpointe Administrator, Leigh Dunson at any time.
In early March, four of our clients were invited to SAFE in Austin to talk to their employees about working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. As an organization that takes care of clients with disabilities, it is important for us to go out into our community and promote a disability-friendly workplace.
Disabled people are hugely underutilized in the workforce today. In the United States, more than one in five people have a disability. Only one-third of working-age disabled people are employed. Employers are overlooking many qualified (or even overqualified) candidates because of the perceptions of what it means to be disabled.
A 2018 study by Accenture, in partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities, reported that businesses that actively seek to employ people with disabilities outperform businesses that do not. Their revenues, net income and profit margins were all higher. Additionally, the Department of Labor found that employers who embraced disability saw a 90% increase in employee retention.
If you are interested in hiring someone with a disability or would like more information about our Southpointe program for adults with intellectual disabilities, please call Leigh Dunson at (512) 442-6077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mary Lee Foundation has many supporters—individuals, local businesses, corporations and foundations. One foundation that we celebrate as a friend and supporter is the Burdine Johnson Foundation. In 1960, the Burdine Johnson Foundation was created to serve the needs of Central Texas. This year, the foundation is supporting Case Management services for our clients in the Home and Community Based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (THL) programs.
HCS and THL are both Medicaid waiver programs that provide services and supports to Texans with an intellectual disability so that they can live in the community.
Unfortunately, the Mary Lee Foundation is not reimbursed for Case Management services through these programs. We are eternally grateful to the Burdine Johnson Foundation for seeing the importance of this service to our clients with intellectual disabilities and providing the funding to make sure it remains in place.
For more information on our HCS or THL programs or how you can help support Case Management services for our clients with intellectual disabilities call Brian Woods, Director of Development at (512) 443-5777.