Sheltered workshop asks for continued support

A levy that supports people with disabilities is on the ballot in Hancock County. (WTOV)

A place that invests in people with disabilities is asking for your help.

The Hancock County Sheltered Workshop renewal levy is on the ballot, and the folks there urge you to vote yes.

The workshop runs a laundry facility on site that not only provides a service to the community, but also allows many with disabilities to have a job and feel that sense of accomplishment that goes along with it.

However, it takes effort and money to keep it going strong and that's where the workshop comes in.

“Well we work hard, do our best to do a good job,” said James Custer, a laundry worker from Newell.

Custer and Kristin Tulenko work and receive services at the Hancock County Sheltered Workshop. They handle things in the laundry room and are two of the 95 people who rely on the employment and training opportunities the workshop provides.

“I like working with the pads and getting a paycheck. I like getting my paycheck too,” Tulenko said, adding that she likes to spend her money on Legos.

A renewal levy that supports the workshop is on the ballot and they're asking you to vote yes.

“A lot of the people who work here are disabled and they just wouldn't be able to work anywhere else because nobody else would hire them so I like working here I want to keep my job,” Custer said.

The levy generates $250,000 a year, but because it's a renewal, it will not raise your taxes. The executive director says what it will do is invest in the workshop's clients, who then give back to the community.

“It allows us to bring them in here where they’re comfortable, where they're safe and to be productive members of our society,” Michael Hagg, executive director, said.

Supporting the levy means transportation to and from work will continue, along with life skills training, and the chance to stay connected to some special people, in a special place.

“I like all the friends and stuff,” Kristin said.

Voters have been supporting this levy since the 1990's.

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