December 2023 Newsletter

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fun night

Housing Reimagined in Houston County

In November, ABLE cut the ribbon on a new, fully accessible home in Houston County. Hickory house is a positive step forward for ABLE and the people we serve. The house was specifically designed for the needs of people with developmental disabilities at all stages and ages of their lives. It is a single story that has room and space for those needing adaptive equipment like walkers, wheelchairs or special lifts. All interior and exterior transitions are zero entry so there are no barriers to access. Hickory house is the second phase of a plan to replace older homes that were not assessable and that were too costly to renovate.

Our goal is to provide housing options that allow people to live full vibrant lives. Hickory house gets us closer to this goal and to our goal of rebuilding ABLE back to the number of homes we had in the county before COVID. ABLE hopes to open another fully accessible home in Houston County.

A Year in Review

As I reflect on my first full year as executive director, I am excited to share highlights from the year in the following newsletter. For over 40 years, ABLE has operated in Houston County and the work we’ve done in 2023 will help us thrive for another 40+ years. ABLE is home to over 50 people with developmental disabilities that call Houston County home. They are proud community members who work here, attend events and support local businesses.

ABLE has 137 staff today but has the capacity to employ over 200 people. Staff shortages continue to be a concern but over the past year, we’ve added key staff to support our direct care staff and people supported. Fifty-three of our current staff have been with ABLE for over five years. Their passion and compassion are what makes us successful. We are committed to increasing our staffing so we can support more people and add to our program offerings.


In order to continue to thrive and expand in Houston County, we need your help. As you read this newsletter, please consider the many ways to become involved with ABLE. Your monetary donations are tax deductible and support Houston County. Your donation of time and talent help in so many ways including providing additional opportunities for our people supported.

We have a fresh new look that is grounded in ABLE’s history and looks to our bright future. Please consider joining us in our mission to offer living and learning opportunities to individuals with developmental disabilities. Thank you for your support.

-Krista Coey Bernau

Your Support Matters!

Since 1979, ABLE has been committed to improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. Our services honor the uniqueness of the people we support and promote dignity, independence and self-esteem. We are proud to call Houston County our home and are grateful for the support we’ve received from our friends, neighbors and local businesses.

This year we again ask for your support in helping ABLE continue our mission. Your tax-deductible donation goes to support the over 50 people with developmental disabilities that ABLE supports in our community homes and intermediate care facility. The funds we raise are used to purchase equipment, pay for outings and activities and expand our footprint, including new facilities and programs. You can donate using the envelope included with this newsletter or online at

Donations postmarked by December 31, will receive a 2023 tax donation letter. Donations received after December 31, will receive a 2024 tax donation letter.

This year we are also asking you to consider a donation of your time and talents. ABLE has volunteer opportunities available right here in Houston County, working directly with our people supported doing activities and helping with outings. At different times throughout the year we have volunteer opportunities in our offices, at our community homes or helping at our annual Fun Night event. Certain volunteer opportunities will require a background check. Please contact Nichole Pierce if you are interested in volunteering with ABLE, or 507-895-8111 x1115.

Like many places, we have many open positions. ABLE employs 137 people but has the capacity to employ over 200 people. We do have a waiting list for our services and would love to open our program to more people. In order to do that we need more direct care staff. ABLE offers competitive benefits including paid time off, nine paid holidays and generous health insurance. Students and retirees are welcome at ABLE. If you or someone you know is looking for employment, please check out our openings at

Thank you for considering a donation of money, time or talents to helping ABLE succeed for another 40+ years.

The ABLE Board of Directors

Fun Night

Save the date for ABLE’s annual Fun Night event!

When: Friday, April 19, 2024
Where: La Crescent Area Event Center
What: Join us for a night full of games, food and fun at our annual fundraising event.

Please contact ABLE at 507-895-8111 to learn more or to become involved.

Event and table sponsorships are available.