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  • Trinity Services, Value the Work Coalition to Pursue Veto Override for HB 5931 to Obtain Living Wage for Direct Support Professionals

    Sep 28, 2016

    NEW LENOX, IL — Though House Bill 5931 was vetoed at the end of August, the fight for a living wage for direct support professionals (DSPs) in Illinois is not over.

    The Value the Work Coalition, of which Trinity Services is a member, is seeking an override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the bill during the fall override session of the Illinois General Assembly Nov. 15-17 and Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

    HB 5931 would raise the starting wage for DSPs — workers who provide direct services and supports to people with development disabilities and mental illness — to $15 an hour. The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-18) and State Sen. Heather Steans (D-7).

    Though he vetoed the bill, Rauner recognized “the difficult and important work of these professionals” and the fact that they have not received a wage increase in years.

    Community service providers like Trinity Services are enduring a workforce crisis and report that up to 30 percent of their direct support positions are vacant at any time, with the average state wage remaining at approximately $9.35 an hour. The passage of this bill would attract more workers to the profession by providing a living wage.

    The Value the Work Coalition is developing an action plan and calendar to accomplish the override. It would require a supermajority of 71 votes in the House of Representatives — which passed the bill 67-47 — and a supermajority of 36 votes in the Senate — which passed the bill 40-18 — to override the veto.

    In the meantime, Coalition members, including Trinity Services, will continue to remain in dialogue with the governor about the issue and ask that he take action to provide a living wage to the employees who work tirelessly to assist the thousands of men, women and children they serve in the state.

    Trinity encourages supporters to contact the Governor’s Office to relay their support for a wage increase and ask him to take administrative action that would increase the wage for DSPs. Trinity also encourages supporters to contact State senators and representatives to ask them to commit to voting for the veto override of HB 5931.

    Trinity Services, Inc. is a 66-year-old, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization that serves 3,500 children and adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities and mental illness in 30 communities in Will, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Peoria, Jackson and St. Clair counties, and Reno, Nevada. To learn more, visit

    Meredith Dobes
    Communication and Media Development
    Trinity Services, Inc.
    (815) 320-7229

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  • Trinity Services Executive Director Art Dykstra Honored with Inaugural Award from Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago

    Sep 28, 2016

    NEW LENOX, IL — Swami Vivekananda, an Indian Hindu monk, was known for his commitment to service to others. Trinity Services Executive Director Art Dykstra was recently honored with an award in the revered Swami’s name for a similar commitment.

    At the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago’s Fall Banquet on Sept. 11 at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Dykstra was honored for his nearly 50 years of exceptional community services to persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and mental illness. His expertise has shaped practice and policy not only in Illinois, but throughout the United States. Dykstra’s guiding principles are simple: Treat others as you would want to be treated. Help those who cannot help themselves, or are down on their luck. And, continually pursue personal growth to make the world a better place.

    Dykstra was invited to speak at the event and inspired the crowd of approximately 350 attendees with his speech on servant leadership.

    “It is important that when we seek to serve others, we ask the question, ‘How do we want to be together as people, as friends, as families, as organizations?’” Dykstra said in his speech. “How we answer the question will have a lot to do with our success.”

    Dykstra has served as Trinity’s executive director since 1987, following a 20-year career with the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities during which he served in a multitude of positions, including facility director for two state-operated developmental centers, Chicago regional administrator for developmental disabilities, and policy and program advisor to the director of the department.

    He has served as the president of the board at The Council on Quality and Leadership, past president of the Illinois Chapter of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Illinois Council of Executive Directors of The Arc, and the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.

    Dykstra currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Services Foundation and Lifestyles Academy, and the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. He also serves on the Advisory Committee to the Institute on Disability and Human Development, and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Development Disabilities.

    Dykstra has received past awards and recognition from the IARF, Lewis University, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Bradley University, and the Autism Program of Illinois.

    The banquet included a documentary on Swami Vivekananda, which paid homage to his life, celebrating his national and international impact. During his lifetime, he strove to promote peace and oneness across all humankind. He traveled around the world spreading this message and eventually landed in Chicago, where he spoke at the Parliament of the World’s Religions on Sept. 11, 1893, and received a standing ovation for his address.

    The Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago was established in 1930 and aims to put into action the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda — “to make people aware of their inner divinity and to help them to manifest it in every moment of life” — through personal interviews, talks, lectures, seminars, inter-faith meetings, spiritual retreats and religious celebrations.

    Trinity Services, Inc. is a 66-year-old, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization that serves 3,500 children and adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities and mental illness in 30 communities in Will, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Peoria, Jackson and St. Clair counties, and Reno, Nevada. To learn more, visit

    Meredith Dobes
    Communication and Media Development
    Trinity Services, Inc.
    (815) 320-7229

    Read More
  • When Does Everything Count?

    Sep 26, 2016
    By Art Dykstra

    True personal responsibility acknowledges the wisdom of the imperative, "Everything counts." I was first struck with the impact of those words in one of David Steinberg's comedy routines in which he made light of our tendency to be over vigilant regarding trivial matters. Steinberg's character would walk around the house, straighten a picture on the wall, alphabetize the magazine rack, and say, "Everything counts." And indeed there are those administrators--sometimes known as obsessive/compulsives--who drive their staffs to the brink of mutiny by obsessing over the truly unimportant.

    But everything does count in an Outcome Management environment, and not just the outcomes--the first mistake made by folks who don't really understand the complex nature of process and outcomes.

    Everything especially counts when you are dealing with unusually vulnerable people--the little things as well as the big things. It is important how staff members greet the program participants each morning, how  they hang the coats up, where they hang their coats up, and whether the people served participate in meaningful activities or not. Nothing is taken for granted.

    Where the coffee pots are locate dis important. Who may drink the coffee is probably more important. How many times the phone rings before it is answered is important. Is the environment clean, cheerful? Have the flowers been weeded, the snow shoveled on time?

    How are checks distributed and by whom? Howe much money does the janitor make? Where does the staff eat lunch? How expensive are the soft drinks in the vending machine?

    How do the staff members in community-integrated living arrangements (CILAs) refer to the homes? At Trinity, we operate and serve more than 60 such homes by such names as Courtland House, Route Three, or Cedar House. For some, this may raise the question: "So what?" But, when you realize that he way you talk affects the people you serve, you don't have to ask. What does a person being served in a CILA home say when asked, "Where do you live?" Does she tell them her address as we would? Or does she call her home by its worksite name that the staff uses? Probably the latter--and that is our fault.  These properties may be worksites to us, but they are homes to the people who live there. That's an important distinction to make.

    Everything counts, absolutely everything. This philosophy does not mean that one controls or micromanages each of these events or activities, but rather that staff realizes the importance of every encounter with the people they serve. It is critical that little issues be dealt with before they become problems, conflicts, or sources of bigger concerns.
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  • Increasing Ability through Technology

    Dec 11, 2015
    Technology is hot at Trinity Services, Inc. With help from great partners, like Ablelink Technologies, and Create Ability, people with disabilities are using the latest technologies to move toward more full and abundant living. Communication options, work skills, entertainment choices, and relationships are all enhanced with the use of computers, tablets, and even smart phones. Check out the video to see what is happening right now!

    technology and disability square
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Upcoming Events

  • Third Annual Dinner and Concert Gala

    Please join us for "An Evening of Holiday Music" at our Third Annual Concert Gala at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at Butterfield Country Club in Oak Brook to support our mission to help people with disabilities and mental illness flourish and live full and abundant lives.

    This showcase of holiday music paired with dinner and fantastic company is a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season. 

    This year's event features the Hinsdale Central Chamber Choir and the Western Springs School for Talent Education Allegro!!! Violin Ensemble.

    Tickets are $125 per person. Call (815) 717-3750, or click here to purchase tickets or sponsorships.

    Sponsorship opportunities and program book ads are available now. For more information about how you can help, please email

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