ILGR's new Albion office

Independent Perspective 1700 with Katie Cotter about ILGR's new Albion office.

Host:  Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs program of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Katie Cotter, NY Connects Outreach Specialist at Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR). I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program, Katie.

Guest:  Thank you for having me.

Host:  It's been our pleasure, or it is our pleasure. You're here because you have all the lowdown on the fact that for a relatively short time ILGR, although based in Batavia, has begun operating an office in Albion. About how long have you been there?

Guest:  So, we started working out there on April 18. We had at first, we had three different employees going out there, right now we have two. Leticia Thompson and myself. I go out there on Mondays and Leticia is out there on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Host:  Where's the Albion office located? I gather it's in a building that has some other nonprofits.

Guest:  Yes, it is. So, we are at the Arnold Gregory office complex. It's right in Albion. It's at 243 South Main Street, Albion, New York. We have a little small office in there. And there's other programs in there like Cast Stone and some other nonprofits and they even have a little snack shop right in the front. That doesn't take credit cards. You gotta bring cash, but it's very, very cute and you can get any little snack that you want.

Host:  Well, now that's a selling point to go just as it is. At the present moment are there any sort of leftover pandemic protocols? Do you need to take steps before you do an in-person appointment? Or do you prefer to do stuff by phone or online? What's the way things people can be served?

Guest:  So, we ask that people do make an appointment just so that we can make sure that we're there because if we are in Albion, sometimes we will be meeting consumers at their homes and stuff. So, someone might be away from the office for like an hour. But if you do walk in, it's up to you about wearing a mask in that building. And if you are not vaccinated, we do ask you to wear a mask just for the safety of the employees and for the safety of other people in the building. But there's no protocols over there as of right now.

Host:  Are there certain days of the week that you're more likely to have staff at the Albion office?

Guest:  So, we have the Albion office open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I do go out there occasionally on Tuesdays and Thursdays if I'm meeting other consumers, but the offices are usually only open Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Albion. 

Host:  Well, for people that aren't familiar with the array of services offered by Centers for Independent Living, what sort of ways can you assist people with disabilities that come to you to help improve their lives?

Guest:  So, Leticia, she's our Housing Specialist so she can help anyone that is about to be evicted, looking for housing and stuff like that. I am the Outreach Specialist so I can help with any resources that a person may need. I can help them get in contact with resources such as DSS, Social Security, unemployment. I mean, really, the list goes on. I just helped a person get a bed the other day. So really, I can point you in the right direction and Leticia can help with housing. And then we also even though the other coworkers are not out in Albion, we still get consumers connected with them here for like CDPAS program and stuff like that.

Host:  So, there's actually a wealth of services that people can get besides housing and NY Connects which I gather has a particular emphasis on assisting older consumers.

Guest:  Yes. We work very closely with Office for the Aging.

Host:  Great. Well we're running low on time, if people have questions, and I'm sure some will, how can they get in touch?

Guest:  Well you can always call us at our offices and our phone number is 585-815-8501. My extension is 418 if anyone wants to call me and I can get you in touch with whoever you need to get in touch with. Or you can just come on down to the Albion office Monday, Wednesday, Friday, knock on our door and see if we're there we can get you what you need.

Host:  Thanks so much for being with us.

Guest:  Thank you so much for having me.

Host:  You’ve been listening to Independence Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today has been Katie Cotter, NY Connects Outreach Specialist with ILGR and I've been your host Ernie Churchwell.