December 2020 Newsletter
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Slowing the Surge
Minnesota is being hit particularly hard by a surge in COVID-19 infections. We have the 6th highest rate of new COVID-19 infections in the country, with over 7,000 new infections being reported every day.
Fortunately, NER has been blessed with staff who have worked tirelessly since mid-March to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the people we support and our staff. During the past 8 months, NER staff have been engaged in multiple strategies and activities that have delayed and dampened the impact of COVID-19 on our homes and workplaces.
  • We developed, executed, and continue to evaluate and refine NER's COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which can be found on our website.
  • We permanently closed our Adult Day and Extended Day programs to limit risk of virus transmission.
  • We are continuing to maintain our stock of masks, face shields, gowns, goggles, and gloves to prevent virus transmission.
  • We have implemented mandatory health-screening checklists for all NER staff, guests, and visitors - which now include temperature checks.
  • We have eliminated non-essential maintenance performed in NER homes to minimize risk of infection for staff and people-supported.
  • We have a COVID response team consisting of myself and staff from Operations and Human Resources who meet weekly to review our status and ensure we are doing all we can to limit infection transmission.
  • We are in regular communication with the MN Department of Human Services, MN Department of Health, and other service providers to ensure we continue to follow best practices and provide feedback to state agencies for future regulations and executive orders.
  • We are pursuing multiple strategies to ensure that we have adequate staff.
Because of these activities, we have slowed the rate of infection while providing a safe home environment for the people we support.
However, the COVID-19 surge continues, and we need your help.
If you are a loved one or guardian of a person we support, please minimize your physical contact with the person we support. Any physical contact you have with people we support puts them and you at risk of COVID-19 exposure. I know this is a particularly difficult request during the holiday season, but it's necessary to reduce the risk of COVID transmission. Please know we are doing everything we can to protect the people we support, and that their NER home is most likely the safest place they can be right now.
And for everyone, please wear your mask and continue to social distance. We must slow this surge until we see improvements in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
I'm happy to report that there are other things surging at NER. I see staff supporting each other by checking on each other, helping each other get their work done. I saw our Board of Directors donate money so we can give two pies to every home last week. I see NER's leadership continuing to develop and refine strategies to ensure our homes are the safest places they can be.
COVID-19 is surging in MN. But I'm happy to report that teamwork, empathy, generosity, and caring are surging at NER! 
Take good care,
Eric Schnell

Interim Executive Director

In Memory Of:  Stacia Lockwood
March 17, 1958 – November 27, 2020

On Friday, November 27, 2020, the NER 33rd Avenue home lost a dear family member. Stacia (Stacy) Lockwood passed away peacefully while sitting in her recliner. Though we are all saddened by the passing of Stacy, she will have a special place in everyone’s heart. 
A few weeks ago, I had asked Carla Pleasants to write an article on Dru and Stacy Lockwood. With their father’s permission, Bob Lockwood, I felt it fitting to share this article with all of you, spotlighting two sisters who lived together. This article was written prior to Stacy’s death. 
She will truly be missed.

Lin Curran
Director of Operations
Person-Supported Spotlight

Druanne (Dru) and Stacia (Stacy) Lockwood
Stacy and Dru are sisters that share their Northeast Residence home in St. Anthony, along with two other women. The first connection that Dru and Stacy had with Northeast Residence took place decades ago when they came to the Respite program, which at that time was located in White Bear Lake. Stacy was comfortable at the Respite program, but Dru was a bit more hesitant and didn’t warm up to the program as readily as her sister did. After some months and a few visits, the sisters’ participation in the Respite program came to an end.
In 2017, NER was asked to take over and manage a home in St. Anthony that was being run by another company. Dru and Stacy were living at the home. And when it came under the Northeast umbrella, the reconnection between Dru, Stacy, and NER took place.
Although Stacy and Dru are very close and often aware of what the other one is doing and feeling, their personalities are quite different. Following are some highlights about each of the ladies.
Stacy is a very compassionate person and is “in tune” with how those around her are feeling. She becomes concerned if a person is not feeling well or is upset, and she will attempt to seek out a way to help the person. Her favorite color is green, and she really enjoys holidays and festivals, with St. Patrick’s Day being a favorite. She is not a picky eater and is willing to try new foods; a can’t-miss favorite meal for her is chicken alfredo. Her favorite beverage is root beer. Leisure time activities for Stacy involve watching the Wheel of Fortune and documentaries on animals. Stacy enjoys putting 6-piece animal puzzles together and participating in crafts. She is fond of jewelry. Stacy really loves it when people spend time talking with her and doing activities with her.  
Dru is practical and no-nonsense in her approach towards life and others. She is a “take charge” kind of person and can often be found taking the lead in the house activities. Routine is very important to her. And if the routine is going to change, she definitely wants to know why. The calendar is often referenced by Dru to ensure that everything is being completed when it is supposed to be completed. Dru’s favorite color is purple, and her favorite drink is iced tea. Dru likes to listen to music on her iPod and watch animal documentaries on tv. She enjoys putting puzzles together and has worked on puzzles that have up to 300 pieces. When she has completed a puzzle, she likes to have it framed and hung up on a wall. Dru also likes to participate in craft projects.
Both Stacy and Dru have attended the Merrick Day Program in North St. Paul for many years. They miss being in-person at the site but enjoy participating via Zoom during their meeting times.
Family is very important to Dru and Stacy. They used to go home on a regular basis. And their dad, Bob Lockwood, would also regularly see the women at the house, and they would often go to church together. With COVID-19, this has changed. Bob got both Dru and Stacy a tablet and set them each up with a Facebook Messenger portal. They are now able to video chat with each other two to three times a week. They also were able to have some outside visits while following social-distancing guidelines when the weather was nice. By using the tablets, Dru and Stacy are also able to virtually participate in church services, along with an occasional Friday night dance, should they choose to do so.
Two sisters and two personalities. Both have enriched the lives of the staff and housemates at their NER home.

Carla Pleasants
Out & About
Person-Centered Blog

Deck the Halls!

There’s no place like home for the holidays, but just not this year, right? For the sake of health and safety, it looks like staying away from large gatherings of people that are not in not in your own household will top off 2020, and all celebrating will need to happen in creative ways. Staff have become experts at making sure the individuals in our homes have been able to celebrate special times despite physical distancing, and upcoming holidays have just been added to the list.

When we recognize and anticipate individual needs, we can be proactive and minimize anxiety and big feelings that sometimes occur with anticipation of a holiday. Northeast encourages all staff to make the season festive but adjusted to fit the needs of each home: Decorate, put up a tree and lights, listen to favorite music, bake cookies, make ornaments, have special food, and make sure there is at least one gift for each person to open. Most sites plan a party, but this year families may need to send a video greeting or “Zoom in” on the party. Favorite and free activities still allowed during COVID include driving around the neighborhoods to look at lights, walking in new-fallen snow, or building a snowman in the front yard - all seasonal pleasures.

As daylight decreases and cold weather increases in the winter months, most people naturally spend more time indoors. Some people-supported are back to attending day programs, and this offers a time to socialize with people other than those they live with. For those who have been home all year, winter can be a very “blue” time. A bit of daily exercise can really improve the mood in the house, and a short walk with fresh air and sunshine can help redirect snappish feelings.

This time of the year has always given us the gift of reflecting on what we are grateful for. The usual pace of activities has been slowed way down during COVID; for many of us, winter holiday expectations can get mildly frantic. Maybe this year will be one of new traditions, with more time for rest and respite. The best times can be simple times, the best reminder of all.

'Tis the Season!

Shelley Weiss

Designated Coordinator Specialist
Door Decorating


Spotlight on:

Debbie Mann

Deb Mann has been working at NER for 31 years. She started working part-time at the ICF/DD, because the location was 5 minutes away from her house. She gradually added hours until she was working full-time. In her years at NER, she has held a number of positions, such as Lead Staff and Supervisor when NER was still at the convent (and also when they moved to House 1). Four of the individuals moved into the Minnesota house, which Deb then supervised. (They have since moved locations and are now at the Currie house!) She has spent the last several years supervising the NER Adult Day program - both when it was in Little Canada and when it moved to the new corporate office location in November of 2017. Since COVID began and Adult Day closed, she has been helping out at the 5th Street house. Deb says that her favorite part of the job is definitely working with the people-supported. Her advice to new staff is to always think of the people you work with as people, not as a job that needs to be done.

Away from NER, Deb has 2 sons and 5 grandchildren. During non-COVID times, she enjoys going to the lake with them, as they have cabins side-by-side. During her free time, she likes going out with friends, motorcycling, and dancing. When asked what types of dancing she liked best, she said all kinds - She even tried swing-dancing, until she realized that her partner wasn’t the best at catching her!

Becky Bollinger
Manager of IT / Special Projects
Happy Holidays!
Gift Card Winners *

Linda Jolly
Katherine Weidt
Kevin Heroff
Felicite Chakoumeni

*Contact Brion Curran at or call (651) 419-8615
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“The Joy of brightening other lives,
bearing each others’ burdens,
easing each other’s loads 
and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of the holidays."

– W. C. Jones
Copyright © Northeast Residence, Inc., All rights reserved.
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Northeast Residence, Inc. 
2539 County Road E East
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

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Northeast Residence, Inc. · 2539 County Road E East · White Bear Lake, MN 55110 · USA

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