SAILing On with State Grant Funds

Recently, the Superior Alliance for Independent Living received a big state grant.

The non-profit center serves people with disabilities and plans to use the grant to grow into various aspects within the community.

“We always feel good that we’re still going to be able to do what we’re doing,” deputy director Judy Vivian said.

What SAIL is doing is more than anyone could ask.

The nonprofit center focuses on helping people with physical or mental disabilities meet their goals of maintaining or increasing their independence.

“We also really want to encourage that they really are able. It’s not so much that they are disabled but they are able to do what they need to do,” Vivian said.

It may be the center’s uniqueness that helps SAIL’s success.

More than half of SAIL’s board members have disabilities themselves.

“Oftentimes we have people come in and say ‘you don’t understand’, and most of us do, because we have all lived it ourselves and we know what it’s like to have someone hang up on us or say ‘no, we can’t help you’,” Vivian said.

With a personal understanding of the people that come in, the center is able to help many, and Brian McRae is just one of them.

“They’re helping me figure out some of the problems that I would have trouble with by myself,” he said.

Getting into a sticky situation with Social Security, Brian sought SAIL’s help to figure out what he should do.

“It’s a new experience for me, and I’m excited to be part of it”, he said.

With the grant for more than $170,000, SAIL has reason to be excited, too.

SAIL plans on using the grant money to expand fairly new services, like helping people with disabilities re-enter the community after prison, help with nursing home transitions and help veterans with disabilities.

They say they’ve done some of those things in the past but should be doing more of them this year.

Although SAIL does fundraise, the grant is a chunk that will help them.