Monthly Archives: December 2013

Maureen Piggot about Social Exclusion Disorder, December 17, 2013

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Knox Williams once again introduced the club to Maureen Piggot of Ireland, who spoke about “Social Exclusion Disorder”. Maureen first met the Williams family as a high school exchange student from South Africa. It was Maureen’s friendship with Knox and June’s son Drew that kindled her interest in people with disabilities, and led her into a career in that field. Ultimately she was inducted into the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her work and leadership.Because of the times and places where she has lived, she has seen many examples of social exclusion disorder. She was very young living with her family in South Africa when a 1960 referendum led to apartheid there. She dealt with it in her work with the disabled. She still sees it in Northern Ireland, where sectarianism excludes people. She also spoke of efforts to solve the problem, including the founding of Rotary, which arose because new people coming to Chicago felt excluded in the community. She also talked about Global Elders, a group founded by Nelson Mandela to work on the problem.

Joan Burns, Director of Family Recovery Center, December 10, 2013

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Joan Burns, Resource Director of Family Recovery Center in Oceansidespoke to us. Joan is with Mental Health Systems as coordinator and overall manager and works with Community Partners/Volunteers. Joan was touched by previous occupants of the Family Recovery Center and was moved to change her direction in life from owning her own business as a Wedding and Events Planner to following her heart and helping homeless moms. Joan spoke about the Family Recovery Center located in the old Oceanside hospital on Sportfisher Drive in Oceanside. The Center serves:

Homeless moms and their children

55 women are housed there

35 children under 10 are there

It’s County funded

Occupants are there for 1 year

They come broken from all over, typically sent by the Court system

Some come from gangs

They want to be better but don’t know how to break the chain

They learn those skills at the Center After a year they go back into the Community

They learn to serve each other thru cooking, cleaning, helping each other

They all have household chores

Many learn cooking skills

They participate in parenting skills classes on site

They try to get in touch with their issues: physically, emotionally & spiritually

Other are helped to find jobs in the Community

Those without a high school degree have the opportunity to earn their degree thru GED on-site Many have gone on to college

There is a 97% success rate at the Center