It is sad for us to announce that Leigh Dunson, Southpointe Administrator will be leaving us after 20 years of wonderful work. Though we are sad to see Leigh go, we are happy for her to be pursuing new opportunities.
Since Leigh joined our organization in 2001, she has been an integral part of our success. At the time, our Southpointe program had just 30 clients and in through her tenure with us she grew the program to 150 clients.
Leigh took care of our clients like they were her own family. Many of our clients will tell you that the Mary Lee Foundation is their home. This is because of the environment that Leigh nurtured over the years.
If you have any questions about Leigh’s departure or questions about the Southpointe program, please reach out to Sara McDermott who has accepted the position of Administrator.
Mrs. Juanita Lee Hendrix moved to the Mary Lee Foundation in July of 2020 after suffering a severe stroke. She lives here on the square with her husband Michael and their two dogs Little Man and Baby Girl.
When Lee arrived at the Mary Lee Foundation she could not perform many activities of daily living like walking, cooking alone, getting dressed or showering by herself. She also struggled with communicating.
Lee has made great strides here in our therapy program. She can now walk independently with the use of a walker. She can shower on her own, cook, clean, manage her finances and most importantly, boss her husband around!
Lee is back to enjoying life. She enjoys walking, cooking, caring for her dogs and has a wonderful green thumb.
Our therapists are extremely proud of the progress Lee has made. Her current goals are being able to drive and walking without the assistance of a walker. We have no doubts that she’ll be taking her little dogs on walks all on her own soon enough!
Every year for the past 16 years, Mary Lee Foundation has hosted the Fall Festival as an event that brings everyone from the square together: clients, staff, residents, friends and family. There was a costume contest, food and refreshments, raffle prizes, dancing and karaoke.
Mary Lee owns 14 buildings and a green space on a roughly 10 acre city block affectionately known as “The Square”. We provide a supportive, accessible and affordable environment to our low-income and special needs residents.
To learn more about how you might help make next year’s Fall Festival a memorable experience, email Brian Woods at email@example.com or call (512) 443 5777.
Alexandr Kostenko is a Physical Therapist in our Rehabilitation Therapy Program. One of the great things about Alex is his ability to think outside the box when providing first-class physical therapy. Alex has been training with boxing at a local Austin gym called Easley Boxing. Their gym is focused on inclusion, community and personal growth. All values that the Mary Lee Foundation covets dearly.
Alex was able to convince the head coach and owner Jodie Easley to come and do a free class for our Daybreak program. While there are no immediate plans to do another class, Alex has brought several clients to the gym for individual training sessions and hopefully we’ll have more group sessions soon. The clients loved it!
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.
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