Impact and Programs
In 2014, WACOSA served 600 individuals across 5 locations, which represents a growth of 4.8% over 2013 and 27% growth from 2008. We saw 84 new admissions, had 50 community work crews and placed 84 individuals in competitive employment. Development income totaled $209,000. WACOSA hosted 251 volunteers, resulting in 2,861 volunteer hours an increase of 30% and 26% respectively from 2013. This volunteer effort produced in excess of $69,500 of labor, based upon current Minnesota labor statistics (Corporation for National and Community Service, 2013).
At WACOSA's DocuShred, clients destroyed over 806,000 pounds of shredding in 2014, an 8.7% growth from the previous year and a 10.8% growth in revenue. Our ThriftWorks! thrift store completed it's first full year of operation with revenues of over $146,000, 3,794 donations, and 23,551 sales transactions. Since it began operation in 2013, 16 individuals have participated in the ThriftWorks! Retail Training Program, with 4 persons completing training to work competitively.
In 2014, WACOSA received an arts grant through the Paramount Theater in St. Cloud, making it possible for a professional artist in residence to mentor and instruct WACOSA clients about art expression. Clients outstanding talent was showcased at a reception held January 7, 2014 in WACOSA's Thriftworks thrift store.
In June 2014 WACOSA held a second annual conference directed toward improving work attitudes. Staff, board members and other guests attended.
WACOSA's goals for the current year are to:
Continue to grow the WACOSA Thriftworks! thrift store to graduate and place a progressively higher number of persons with high functioning autism and related conditions in retail related environments,
Continue to implement our comprehensive volunteer efforts,
Broaden the scope of clientele participating in the "Arts Thru the Spectrum" program in collaboration with the Central Minnesota Arts Board and the Paramount Theater,
Continue to seek out a sufficient amount of contract work to keep all individuals in our center-based workforce active and engaged,
Keep DocuShred (our secure document destruction program) growing and discover new systems to make it profitable,
Continue to implement WACOSA's new IT based strategic plan,
Increase fund development efforts, and
Begin building foundational support for planned giving.
Community or Constituency Served
WACOSA serves adults with disabilities in central Minnesota with offices in Waite Park, Sauk Centre and Whitney Senior Center in St. Cloud. The individuals we serve have a wide range of needs and ability levels including, but not limited to, mental health disorders, developmental disabilities such as autism and downs syndrome, and physical disabilities such as brain injuries.
Geographic Area Served
WACOSA serves areas in central Minnesota including Stearns, Benton, Sherburne and Mille Lacs counties and the cities of: St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park, Milaca, Foley, Ronneby, Oak Park, Foreston and Bock.