A Message From JOHN C. BRAUER, M.A., President and CEO

“When you can’t change the direction of the wind—adjust your sails.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As we say good bye to the not-so-lazy days of summer, I am pleased to provide you with an overview of the many happenings here at New Horizons.

As you’re probably aware, New Horizons is undergoing a transformation, a re-imagining of sorts of our programs and services to help us prepare for the decade ahead. For over 65 years we have proudly been a leading provider of services to individuals with special needs in the San Fernando Valley, but as the philosophy and funding priorities have shifted, we too must evolve as an agency to remain relevant, strong and at the top of our game.

We closed the Workshop in the fall of 2018. While this was a difficult decision, the New Horizons staff and clients rallied to the occasion, and created a successful and well-thought out transition plan. Many of our clients who had worked in the Workshop for 20+ years are now working in the community—at minimum wage or higher! —and are excelling at their new employment sites, while others have found volunteering in a specialty job has brought them great satisfaction.

Our partnership with Microsoft continues to thrive, and thanks to a grant from the Knistrom Foundation, we were able to purchase 15 Surface Pro tablets for the entire group so that they have the latest equipment and can learn transferable skills that are needed to be a part of today’s job market.

We’re also taking a close look at our 12 residential homes. With minimum wage increases and other regulatory considerations, we must find creative ways to stem the almost $800K loss projected for these programs in the year ahead. To this end, we will be making a number of changes to our residential sites, including reviewing our nursing facilities to see if they’d be better suited as Habilitative units, making improvements to the homes to enhance the overall experience for our clients living there, and opening the Reseda Ranch home sometime this fiscal year.

There are many other changes in the works, including launching our GoGrocery training center (see the article below), improving the look and feel of our campus on Parthenia, and greatly expanding our employment services department.

On behalf of the Board, staff and clients, I appreciate your support as we implement the referenced changes, and for your unwavering belief in our clients. Together, we’re going to make New Horizons the crown jewel of the San Fernando Valley.