Sally Claassen: We all must help a little | SteamboatToday.com

Sally Claassen: We all must help a little

I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t remember getting to fill out a pre-birth application. Let’s see, should I go for blue eyes or brown? I know I didn’t check any boxes for these knobby knock-knees.

Nope. We’re all dealt a hand we don’t get to choose. For a certain number of our community, the hand that is dealt includes mental retardation from mild to severe levels. Serious physical ailments or impediments often accompany the mental disability. These folks have no choice but to depend on others for anything from the occasional boost to every daily need. Horizons is our agency in Routt County that represents our community obligation to provide help to the developmentally disabled from infant screenings to in-family services to group homes.

For 30 years, Horizons has exercised fiscal integrity while giving the mentally retarded members of our community the opportunity to choose to meet their full potential.

Choices have been made at the national and state levels that leave Horizons inadequately funded to meet the needs of this population. But locally, we can make a different choice by voting ‘yes’ on 1B, allowing a mill levy to more adequately fund Horizons’ mission.

I believe our community is full of individuals who have made a deliberate choice to move to or stay in this valley not only because of the beauty and the recreation but because of its authenticity as a “real” place with “real people.”

Part of that reality is a population who can’t go it alone. They need a little help from everyone. And guess what? It’s not just a one-way street. We’re all enriched when we get a big hello at the grocery store or get pulled into a dance at the downtown concert or see a thrilling snowplow run down “Why Not” from one of our developmentally disabled friends who live in a community that invites and allows them to join in the life we all enjoy here. But, it does take a few bucks from each of us.

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I urge you to choose to be a community defined by its character to do what’s necessary to provide a place for all of our members. Vote for 1B. Thanks.

Sally Claassen

Steamboat Springs

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