Horizons Unlimited of Palo Alto County
Mission: Pursuing a better quality of life for people
Horizon’s Unlimited is a non-profit corporation that has two goals:
- To provide work and residential opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.
- To operate as part of the Tri-County Regional Recycling Commission (Palo Alto, Pocahontas, and Kossuth).
It serves its clients in several locations, including the main building at the south end of Emmetsburg. A description of its programs follows:
Horizons Group Homes are licensed RCF/MR residences for persons who are employed at the workshop or in Supported Employment. They take care of their own cooking, cleaning, laundry, banking, shopping and personal needs with assistance as needed from a staff person. Architecturally designed, the three homes in Emmetsburg have bedrooms on each end of the house and living, dining, kitchen, recreation, and laundry centrally located. These residents enjoy their independent home life and considerable community involvement.
Supported Community Living Service
Supported Community Living is a service provided to support individuals with mental retardation in living as independently as possible in their community. The service is individualized and focuses on each consumer’s need regarding basic skill development. The program is flexible and allows a consumer to make choices regarding living environment, room mates, and specific skill development. These choices and needs are reflected via an Interdisciplinary Team. The team consists of the consumer, family, provider agencies, case management and any other concerned individuals. Specific skill development areas are identified at the staffing along with instructional assistance and expected outcomes. The staff acts as a catalyst for change, supporting the consumer in skill development while promoting less staff dependence. Along with this, community integration is stressed and the consumer is encouraged to utilize available community resources, both public and private.
The Supported Employment program at Horizons is for consumers to gain experience and skills working at a variety of community based jobs. Consumers in the Supported Employment program are assisted by a “Job Coach”, a person who will assist in training and transportation to the job sites. The Job Coach is at the job site for the consumer and employer. The Job Coach is with the individual until they no longer need the support.
Horizons Unlimited offers a training environment designed to provide a supportive setting in which vocational skills and appropriate work behaviors are developed.
The workshop has the following program areas:
Pre-Vocational department trains individuals in housekeeping skills, attending to task, following one, two or three step directions, sorting and labeling mass mailings as well as a variety of recycling tasks.
Recycling Area - Individuals work a variety of jobs in recycling. There is a Can & Redemption Center where individuals count and sort cans and bottles. Consumers sort/bale/recycle newspapers, cardboard, magazines, paper, tin, plastic and glass. Material is sold to vendors based upon prices offered.
Food Service prepares balanced meals with a wide variety of special diets following the American Dietetic Association Guidelines. Food Service also has a catering service which offers a wide selection of foods for every day meals as well as a variety of special occasions including parties, family gatherings, weddings, graduations, etc.
Adult Day Hab - Day habilitation services (located at Iowa Lakes Community College) assist and support the consumer in developing or maintaining life skills and community integration. Day Hab enhances and promotes consumer’s intellectual functioning, physical and emotional health and development, language and communication skills, cognitive functioning, socialization and community integration, functional skill development, behavior management and daily living skills. Day Hab provides lifelong learning opportunities in a community college setting to help our consumers to live and function more independently.