Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

- Subsribe at
March 15th, 2013

Not for Profits Setting Up Shop in Sullivan County

With the tremendous outcry on how Medicaid costs and mandates are crunching us, we tend to forget there are people who need to utilize social service programs.

Many not for profits such as The Visiting Nurse Service of New York are entering the Sullivan County market not only to compete for lucrative Medicaid dollars, but because they see a need to be here.

A new not for profit that set up shop here a few months ago recently contacted me to tell me why they saw the need to open an office in Sullivan County to service the needs of People with disabilities.

Independent Living, located in Monticello, is a consumer-directed, cross-disability advocacy and service organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Not only are the majority of the Board of Directors of Independent Living comprised of people with disabilities, but many staff members also have disabilities, so service recipients know that they are working with people who truly understand their challenges.

The needs of people with disabilities are enormous, and Independent Living assists in services ranging from Medicaid coordination, home care, living skills training, and employment opportunities. They also provide accessibility improvements allowing people with disabilities to remain in their homes.

I wanted to know how Independent Living and our tax dollars is making the lives better for Sullivan County residents, so I was provided with two case stories with names changed.

Anne Miller, Director of Development, told me about Brenda an 82 years old blind woman with several serious health issues who contacted Independent Living when her doctor would no longer see her because of a change in insurance coverage, and her pharmacy would not dispense her life-sustaining medication without a new prescription. They assisted Brenda in arranging for the transfer of her medical records, and got her an immediate appointment with a new doctor.

Stephanie, a 44 year old woman with multiple disabilities, became distressed and overwhelmed when she learned her long-time caseworker was relocating, and her medical transportation company changed. Miller told me, “With the assistance of our independent living skills specialists, she made an appointment at the local mental health clinic. After the first few appointments Stephanie felt comfortable enough to continue with therapy on her own, and through regular treatment has learned to manage her anxiety.”

Stephanie has since reconnected with her church, rebuilt her support system with family and friends, and is now an active member of our community.

Miller said a recent visitor to Independent Living’s office, upon learning there was no charge to consumers to receive services, told her, “If the work you are doing here is what our tax dollars are being spent on, then I don’t mind paying more taxes.”

The staff at the Independent Living works closely with many community providers, including CRMC, the Office for the Aging, the Sullivan County Department of Family Services, BOCES, Social Security Administration, United Way, Federation for the Homeless, and NYS Commission for the Blind.

The Sullivan County office of Independent Living is holding an open house on Wednesday, March 20th at 5:15 p.m. They are located at 10 Prince Street in Monticello, and their phone number is 845-794-3322.

Comments are closed.