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April News

Technology and Informed Choice: Keith

Keith McConville, who lives in an HCO house in Winona, MN, recently testified remotely in front of the Senate Committee on Human Services Reform Finance and Policy. At issue before the committee was a bill, SF 1092, that would put some teeth into informed choice for people with disabilities, making sure that they have access to information about new technologies and remote supports. In a letter to the committee, the Minnesota Inclusive Higher Education Consortium (MIHEC) said, “This important legislation will establish and clarify the term Informed Choice. In addition, the legislation strengthens...      Read More

Staff Spotlight: Jeannie Kortas

Sometimes we find the path to our life’s work in a roundabout way. Jeannie is originally from Tomah, Wisconsin and enrolled at Winona State University because her brother and his wife lived in Winona. Though they moved to La Crosse shortly after she arrived, Jeannie stayed in Winona at WSU. Because she enjoyed theater and music in high school (she played saxophone in the band, sang in the show choir, and was in theater productions), she thought she wanted to major in music education in college. However, she soon discovered that being in the front of a classroom was not for her....     Read More

ARRM Disability Services Virtual Day at the Capitol

March 9, 2021

HCO’s Grassroots Advocacy Task Force met virtually with Senator Jeremy Miller, Senator Mike Goggin, Representative Gene Pelowski, and Representative Steve Drazkowski and had the opportunity to share their personal stories and hear from their local legislators. Intern, Hannah Peterson, parent and HCO Board Member, Jan Mosher, and married couple, Dave and Laura Beck, did a remarkable job sharing how changes have affected them and to give support to support bills that could help to establish change that they feel is needed.  
Thank you to our legislators for taking the time to meet with our large group of advocates to discuss the future of disability services!

Getting to Know the Board: Jonelle Moore

I’m Jonelle Moore, an almost lifetime resident of Winona. After graduating from WSU, I went to Green Bay where I taught orchestra for four years, got married, and had my first son before coming back to Winona. Once I returned, I taught music classes part-time at Winona Senior High. When school budgets started being cut, I had my second son and decided to try real estate to have a flexible schedule. I have since co-managed and owned a real estate company, and I continue to remain active in local...     Read More
HCO Welcomes New Directors

Abigail Jackson

Program Services Director


“I am very excited to begin my new role as Program Director.  I am looking forward to having the opportunity to build new
relationships and continue to
support our agency’s mission.”

Abby’s educational background includes an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science of Community Developmental Disabilities, with her studies specifically focusing on community services supporting individuals with Developmental Disabilities.  Abby came to HCO with previous experience working for Chrishaven Group Homes in La Crosse, WI where she provided support in a residential setting, and ABC Works, a day program in the La Cresent, MN where she was employed as a job coach.  Abby started as a Primary Counselor with HCO in 2008, and has since overseen both in-home and residential programs. Abby is known for supporting other service sectors, her ability to stabilize programs, and her talent for mentoring teams through difficult transitions.  The knowledge and experience she will bring to this role will be indispensable to HCO as we continue to work through the pandemic and support individuals returning to in-home services.

Keri Cada

Director of Licensing and Policy

“I am very excited to begin my new role as the Director of Licensing and Policy to support the entire agency on a new level. I look forward to the opportunity to work with many new people.

Keri began working with HCO in 2007 as a part-time counselor while completing her degree at Winona State University in Elementary Education and Early Childhood.  During her time with HCO, Keri has provided support in both in-home and residential settings.  For the past 5 years, she has been an active member of both the Policy and Training Committees.  A teacher by both degree and nature, Keri also shares her talents across the agency as an on-call supervisor and a new hire trainer.  Keri has spent the last year building relationships with fellow nonprofit organizations in the community as a member of the Winona Nonprofit Alliance, and she has recently accepted a position on their Board of Directors.  While the Director of Licensing and Policy is a new position within HCO, Keri’s skills and previous experience will be a great asset as the agency moves forward in the years to come.

Volunteer Appreciation Week: April 18 - 24

This week is National Volunteer Week! Please join us on social media in honoring the numerous volunteers and interns who support the mission and work of Home and Community Options.

Cooking, gardening, social companionship, clerical work…. There are so many volunteer opportunities available at Home and Community Options.  Want to get involved? Contact us today or check out our website for more information on how you can help!

Flash of Yellow - Watch for our HCO T-Shirts

Starting in May, you'll begin to see a lot of the #HCOfamily in the community sporting our new "Ask me why I love HCO" shirts.

When you see us out and about, come up to us and ask! We'd love to tell you more about our work and why we love working for this amazing organization.

Café Congo Returns

Do you enjoy live music outdoors? Stay tuned on our social media to hear our upcoming announcement on the return of Café Congo, coming in May!

HCO Receives Grant From Winona Community Foundation

An enormous THANK YOU to the Winona Community Foundation for awarding HCO with a $10,000 grant to address COVID-19 needs for our organization! We greatly appreciate our partnership with Winona Community Foundation and the support they provide to enhance our community!

"Hope For Tomorrow" Senior Recital a Huge Hit

We hope you had a chance to tune in for Hannah Graff's Senior Recital on April 10th! Hannah's talents made for a wonderful evening of singing, dancing, french horn, tapping, and bass guitar! Funds raised through the event will support the services of HCO.
Additional special thanks to guest performers and accompanists:
Laurie Ziliak, Viva Graff, Colin Cada, Sam Wantok, Nathan Graff, Mike Hagarty, Ian Schultz, and Tara Welch!

Stay tuned to hear more about funds raised through this event!
We love our employees, and we are so thankful for their commitment to the individuals we serve. Last summer, we began a campaign to show extra appreciation to our staff through "Thankful Thursdays," where HCO staff can nominate each other when they see their coworkers go the extra mile in their work. 

Check out our featured staff for March, who were nominated by their peers - and whom we are most especially thankful for - below. Congratulations!

April is Autism Awareness Month

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, totaling over 5 million young people and adults. Each April, we celebrate Autism Acceptance Month to spread awareness, promote acceptance, and ignite change.  
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