Posted by Paul Callighan on Aug 28, 2019
For the past 56 years, Opportunity House has helped people with disabilities find ways to be part of mainstream activities rather than face institutionalized settings.  Executive Director Bob Shipman and Development Director Jackie Espy gave an update on the agency’s latest efforts during the Sycamore Rotary Club Meeting August 28.  Opportunity House currently serves up to 220 clients through a variety of programs.  These include 24-hour care, daytime care, employment programs, and social/recreational programs. The agency operates ten homes providing housing for the disabled, provides work settings both in the community and through its onsite sheltered workshop program, and leads the local Special Olympics outreach.
Shipman and Espy thanked those who supported the agency’s purchase and renovation of a former Duplex Industries building at 357 N. California Street in Sycamore.  A successful $1.7 million capital campaign allowed them to consolidate workshop and staff needs at one location, adding significant operational efficiencies to their programs.  About 70% of their budget is paid through Medicaid reimbursements, meaning the other 30% must come from donations and volunteer help.  Shipman and Espy noted the success achieved over the years by Opportunity House;  beginning as a service for four families locally, and now a major force in the social service fabric of DeKalb County to help those with disabilities.