It was more than twenty years ago that I first began envisioning the Personal Assistance Resource Center. As I investigated the feasibility of starting a nonprofit, I was invited to join a committee of stakeholders to design the Alameda County Public Authority for In Home Support Services. The Public Authority was charged with providing many of the services I had planned for the PARC, and the Union was covering other angles. Between them, I felt that the PARC would be redundant and I put my plans aside.
Twenty some years later, the PA4IHSS and the Unions (SEIU in Alameda County) have been successful in meeting some of the challenges of IHSS consumers and providers. The PA operates a registry and provides some training opportunities. The Union has successfully bargained to increase our wages above minimum wage and offer health insurance for the first time ever. However, these benefits are only for IHSS workers. The PARC intends to serve all home care consumers and workers, regardless of funding sources.