On December 1, Imagine X Functional Neurology held its fourth annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party to benefit Santa Barbara–based Jodi House Brain Injury Support Center. Staff and patients of Imagine X, Jodi House staff, members, and supporters, and the general public came out with some mighty ugly Christmas sweaters and a lot of holiday cheer.
Imagine X owner Dr. Adam Harcourt, who serves on the board of Jodi House, wanted to raise critical funds while throwing a fun party at the same time. The party was held in Imagine X’s attractive and spacious offices on Anacapa Street and even had karaoke this year.
One guest at the party, Nina McConnell, related in an interview how earlier this year she moved here from the Chicago area because of Jodi House. A family member suffered a severe brain injury from a car accident, which required three years of rehabilitation. She and her daughter then searched the entire country for affordable options for the next phase, which led them to Jodi House. She shared how at Jodi House, Jeff can participate in enriching activities and is treated with amazing respect and kindness. Moreover, the support he gets from Jodi House gives McConnell increased freedom, so there has been a huge improvement in quality of life for both of them.
Jodi House assists brain injury survivors in their physical, cognitive, and emotional recovery through classes, individual counseling, support groups, case management, information, and referral. Founded in 1982 by families of adults suffering from brain injuries, Jodi House serves about 115 active members this year.
While there is a nominal one-time enrollment fee and a monthly sliding scale fee, 77 percent of members pay neither because they qualify as low- very low-, or extremely low-income under a HUD standard adopted for Santa Barbara County. Nobody is ever turned away for an inability to pay.
Each week, 20 different classes are offered on a drop-in basis. Classes such as yoga and dance promote physical balance and strength, while other classes address cognitive function and memory improvement.
Emotional support is provided on a one-on-one basis and through peer support groups. Also, the organization just got grant funding for a licensed mental health professional who will provide psycho-social counseling.
Jodi House members work one-on-one with a case manager to identify their goals for recovery, track their progress, and receive ongoing support. Goals may include obtaining housing, learning independent living skills and coping strategies, finding employment, and re-integrating socially with the community.
Recently, in partnership with Family Service Agency, Jodi House began offering a caregiver support group, which quickly filled up with caregivers grateful to have their own support group. Another recent development was the hiring of a Spanish-speaking case manager. About 20 percent of members are Hispanic.
The Santa Barbara facility, located at 625 Chapala Street, is open to anyone, regardless of geographic location, and members come from Lompoc and Santa Maria. Case management services are offered in Ventura and early next year, a support group for brain injury survivors will start in San Luis Obispo.
Jodi House receives significant funding from the California Department of Rehabilitation, but supplementing that with private sources of funding is critical for Jodi House to offer the range of services it does. An offer by an anonymous boardmember to match up to $10,000 in donations made before the end of the year makes now an especially good time to donate.
For more info about Jodi House or to schedule a tour, contact Executive Director Lindsey Fry at 845-2858 or go to jodihouse.org for more info.
Founded five years ago, Imagine X Functional Neurology seeks to bring relief to those suffering from migraines, post-concussion syndrome, dizziness, and vertigo through functional neurology. Harcourt has treated patients from around the world and a number of Jodi House patients. For more info, go to ixneuro.com.
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