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Horizons Unlimited Announces Major Management And Program Changes

By Staff | Mar 17, 2009

EMMETSBURG – Horizons Unlimited announced Tuesday, March 10, that there will be several major management and program changes at Horizons which will guide the non-profit organization into a new direction and a “New Horizons.” The Board of Directors voted March 9 to close Creative Stitches. The business will remain open until March 31.

With the recent management change at Horizons, input from consultants from the rehabilitation services industry and the fact that Creative Stitches has been unable to create revenue for Horizons, the Board felt it was in the best interest of Horizons to close Creative Stitches.

“Another major reason why Creative Stitches is being closed is because we don’t have many consumers who work in this area. Currently there are only two to three consumers who work in Creative Stitches, so this business does not fit with our mission statement of ‘Pursuing a Better Quality of Life for People.’ We have to keep our eye on the prize, which are our clients,” said Horizons Unlimited Board Vice President Chris Louscher.

She added, “It was a very difficult decision to make. Creative Stitches has received tremendous support since it was started in 1997, and we thank everyone, but we can’t keep a business open that is not bringing revenue to Horizons and only impacting a few of our clients. It is our hope that Creative Stitches will continue under new ownership.”

Horizons is also in the middle of a management transition since the chief executive officer left on Feb. 16. Doug Smit, Director of Children’s & Family Services at Hope Haven in Rock Valley, will act as interim director for approximately 30 to 60 days. Horizons will also be utilizing recommendations and evaluations from outside consultants from various facilities, similar to Horizons, and relying on its management team with 26 years combined experience to move Horizons forward.

Horizons will soon be starting a new program at the main office in Emmetsburg with a grant they received from the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation for ADA Bathrooms and Day Hab Center Renovation for $69,998. With the grant and $30,000 matching funds, Horizons will be constructing two brand new ADA compliant bathrooms and completing necessary renovations for a Day Hab Center. With the new Day Hab program, there will be less emphasis placed on work opportunities and more time spent on overall personal development of our consumers. Our day hab program will focus on social interaction, leisure activities, physical fitness, daily orientation/current events, health and hygiene, and community awareness and involvement. Some specific programs Horizons will be pursuing are music and guided dog therapy.

“This grant award is very exciting to us. Our current restrooms are horrible and without this grant award we would be unable to remedy the situation. We thank the PACGDC for their generous support of Horizons Unlimited. This remodel will enable us to move forward with the “New Horizons!” said Horizons Unlimited Vocational Director Lana Williams.

To help with the “New Horizons” team or for more information about Horizons, please call Marvella at 712-852-2211 or visit the website at

www.horizons-unlimited.org