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1314 West Walnut,

Jacksonville, Illinois 62650

Off: 217-245-9504

Fax: 217-245-2350  

Email: ecc@elmcity.org

Web page: www.elmcity.org

Work and Independence for people with disabilities.

A Community Based Agency Providing Work, Vocational,

Residential and Social Services since 1959

  • We help people with disabilities be independent and live in the community.

  • We serve over 200 people a day.

  • We have over 100,000 square feet of production space with 9 docks and over $500,000 of shrink-wrap packaging equipment. Our customers are in retail stores through out North America. We can provide specialized packaging in almost any volume.

  • We have offer certified confidential shredding for documents.

  • We have residential programs throughout Jacksonville.

  • We have been nationally accredited by  CARF since 1972.



SUPPORT Senate Bill 2952 (Steans) / House Bill 5931 (Gabel)

AT ISSUE… In Illinois, more than 27,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on Direct Support Professionals (DSPs – also known as Direct Support Persons) for supports from daily personal care (eating, grooming, and dressing) to teaching essential skills and attending to complex medical needs. On January 7, 2016 a federal court monitor found the State of Illinois non-compliant with the Ligas Consent Decree, a federal court order that ensures access to community care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

*       The average wage for DSPs is $9.35/hr, or $19,488 a year, less than the federal poverty level for a family of three. Poverty wages mean nearly half of Illinois DSPs rely on some form of public benefits, despite working full time.

*       State payments to support individuals in the community have not increased in nearly a decade. By contrast, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased 14% over the same time period.

*       The lack of a living wage for DSPs results in high employee turnover, creating cruel upheaval in the lives of those who most need a stable workforce. Rising wages in competing sectors now mean, despite strenuous efforts to recruit new workers, agencies are experiencing staff vacancy rates of up to 30%.

There was a statewide campaign to submit witness slips supporting SB 2952 and HB 5931 that would raise DSP salaries to $15 an hour.  On April 12, 2016 SB 2952, backed by 3,531 witness slips in support of the bill, lead to the Committee passing the bill to the full Senate floor by a vote of 6-1-0. On April 13, 2016 - HB 5931 backed by 2,492 witness slips in support of the bill was approved by the Committee by a vote of 11-8-0. 

By April 22, it is looking increasingly unlikely that the House will take up the DSP living wage legislation (HB 5931). Since indications were made on Tuesday that the bill would be called for a vote this week, the state agencies have filed the requested fiscal notes on the bill.  There is a good chance any movement on the bill will need to wait until after the upcoming one week break.

Regardless of bill movement, it was another incredible week of advocacy as email messages and phone calls in support of the bill came pouring into the Statehouse offices.  Both Representative Gabel AND Senator Steans have been pleased with the outpouring of support for the initiative.  This week alone the House bill picked up five additional co-sponsors in the House. IARF would like to thank Leader Barbara Currie and Representatives Will Guzzardi, Andre Thapedi, Litesa Wallace, and Larry Walsh for co-sponsoring HB 5931.


That is why Elm City Center has joined a state-wide coalition of organizations demanding solutions in the form of a substantial raise in state reimbursement rates so that we can pay a living wage to our DSPs.   Will you join the campaign to urge our leaders in Springfield to Value their Lives - Value the Work and Raise the Wage for Direct Support Professionals?

Here's how you can help:

*       The Illinois Direct Support Professional Crisis: The Inability to Recruit and Retain Staff to Work with People with Developmental Disabilities Resource Kit for Legislator Education

*       Infographic – Direct Support Professional Facts

*       Spread the word about the need for a living wage for DSPs among your personal and professional networks. Inspire your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to do the same.

*       Contact your local legislators to urge their support for House Bill 5931 and Senate Bill 2952. This legislation provides that direct service persons will earn a base wage of no less than $15/hr.

We can't wait any longer for a solution. The time to act is now.


On January 11, 2016 we took part in a news conference at the Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living to discuss the impact of the the lack of a state budget. The event was attended by Senator Sam McCann and Rep CD Davidsmeyer. JACIL, Prairie Council On Aging, West Central Mass Transit, and Elm City Center there. There were about 25 other people representing a wide range of people affected by the uncertainty of the budget situation. Several groups have not been paid for months. JACIL explained how their Federal dollars are being held up because the state has not supplied it's portion of matching state dollars. funding cuts. JACIL, Prairie Council and Mass Trans talked how they have cut hours, staff, and services. Elm City talked about how low pay and a lack of rate increases have made it hard to find good staff. Elm City has gone through over 500 applications to find 20 good employees who meet the requirement of the jobs. Stories on the event can be viewed at the Springfield State Journal Register, WLDS, and Jacksonville Journal Courier


The remodeling of our two most recent homes is done.  One HOME IS100% accessible by people in wheel chairs. The other will simply be a regular home. Both homes:

  • Are large, converted duplexes with four bedrooms. 

  • Have laundry facilities with washer and dryer

  • Each home will have 24 hour staff to assist with whatever needs to be done.

  • Are in nice, well maintained residential neighborhoods.

We are on the market for two more homes that meet the CILA requirements. By the time this is all done we will have 6 group homes and over 20 apartments throughout Jacksonville. We have been talking with DDD Transitions about people we know who moved from JDC and want to return to Jacksonville. We are also open to people on Puns, part of Ligas. or simply looking to transition from home to independence.


This home is 100% wheelchair accessible with very large bathroom, roll in 5 foot and 6 foot wide showers, an extra large kitchen, a covered outdoor deck, and large living areas. SEE SHILOH DETAILS


This home has an extra large kitchen, enclosed breezeway, two living rooms, a three car garage, and many closets. SEE WESTFAIR DETAILS

If you know someone with a disability who is looking for a residential setting or you simply want more information contact Julie Pikert or Cyndy Claussen at 217-245-9504.


Buildings often have a past that is very different from current operations. Believe it or not, our Admin building used to be the home for WJJY-TV in 1969-1971 which served Jacksonville, Springfield, and Quincy. WJJY-TV was the most powerful TV station in the nation and one of the tallest structures in the hemisphere.  On Columbus Day, 2014 we were visited by J. Mitch Hopper who was one of the first employees and worked with Chief Engineer, Harold Eskew in mounting equipment, running wires under the control room floor, installing many of the thousands of connectors. He also installed the basic telephone system we still use today. He stayed with the station as a staff engineer/technician and ran many of the on-air shifts as well as being the primary film editor. He has a website: http://www.brainmist.com/wjjy_tv/wjjy_tv.htm that talks about the station’s history and how they went out of business. Their studio was located where our lunch room currently exists.  The real floor is 3 feet below the current floor which we raised when we built the lunch room several years ago. The engineering room is now a large meeting room. The base of the relay tower that sent the pictures to the transmittal tower in Bluffs still exists on our property. Years later, the Bluffs transmission tower crashed down during an extremely heavy ice storm. Elm City bought the TV property and moved in after it had been empty for several years. Will Elm City still be here 45 years from now? What do you think people will say about us then?

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Elm City Center

An equal opportunity employer.

Revised - 4/22/16