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LISTEN Center to host groundbreaking June 10 for building that will be ‘Opening A Whole New Future’

After more than half a century, the LISTEN Center will launch a new era when it hosts a groundbreaking ceremony for its first-ever new building. The groundbreaking is set for Thursday, June 10, 4 p.m. at 2100 S. Washington St. in Grand Forks. The public is invited.

With construction expected to be completed in mid-2022, the new LISTEN building will have enough space to house all of LISTEN’s programs under one roof for the first time in years. There will also be additional space on the second floor for one or more tenants.

“LISTEN is excited to be a part of the continual growth, commercial renewal and development that is bringing value to our city,” said Christy Potts, LISTEN Executive Director. “This new building not only replaces an inaccessible old building that was on the property, but it will raise the standard for accessibility for everyone who uses our program services and our Drop In Community Center.  Our goal is to build a space that is accessible and user-friendly for people choosing our services and our staff that help them.”  

“With our programs growing and adding residential and in home support in the last 18 months to LISTEN services’ this building is opening a new future for us that is focused on the needs of the people we are supporting,” said Nancy McKay, Programs Services Director.  “It pioneers our potential for growth in our program services. With the new building, the skies the limit on what else we may be able to add to benefit our community.”

“A dream is a wish your heart makes and the Listen Drop In Center has been a part of helping people make their dreams happen for the past 50 years,” said Carla Tice, Drop In Program Director. “With this new building more dreams for more people will be possible. With state-of-the-art technology, universal design, and a culture that supports one another, we will have 50 more years of dreams come true.” 

LISTEN has partnered with Widseth and Community Contractors for design and construction of the building.

The LISTEN Center’s roots date back to 1970, when a program started in Grand Forks churches. It grew into S.M.I.LE. – St. Mary’s Is Love Exceptional – in 1972 and then combined with a Youth Arc program in 1974 to become Love Is Sharing the Exceptional Needs – L.I.S.T.E.N. LISTEN has evolved over the years, but its mission has remained the same: to provide quality services designed to help people with intellectual disabilities live as independently as possible.

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LISTEN Executive Director, Christina Potts Accepted to National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities

Press Contact
Christina Potts, christy@listencenter.org
701-746-7840

LISTEN Executive Director, Christina Potts Accepted to National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities
Grand Forks, ND – LISTEN, Inc. Executive Director Christy Potts is one of 32 selected nationwide to participate in the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, Leadership Institute held at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware Jan. 12-17.

The National Leadership Consortium is a partnership of the 18 national disabilityorganizations dedicated to promoting citizenship, equality and access to high quality, individualized supports for people with disabilities.

Potts started her career supporting people with disabilities in 2009. She graduated from Minot State University with a B.S. in Business Management and International Business in 2011 while working full time as a Direct Support Professional. She continued working with people with disabilities while attending Minot State University to complete a M.S. in Management in 2014.

Potts, who joined LISTEN, Inc. as Executive Director in 2018, has held various roles in the field including Direct Support Professional, Case Management Assistant, Program Specialist, and Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional.
LISTEN is a nonprofit organization in Grand Forks with a successful record of making a difference for people with disabilities and their loved ones. The organization provides residential and day services for adults with disabilities and runs the LISTEN Drop-In Community Center at 624 N Washington street to encourage relationship building and community sharing for all people. LISTEN holds the annual Festival of Trees fundraiser to help support opportunities for all people in the Greater Grand Forks area and to support local families around the holiday season.

National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities
Founded in 2006, the National Leadership Consortium works to assure that the next generation of leaders in the intellectual and developmental disabilities sector have the skills, values, knowledge and resources needed to continue a worldwide shift away from congregate service models that keep people with disabilities segregated and isolated, to individualized, person directed supports that ensure that people are meaningful members of their chosen communities. The goal of the Institute is to assist agencies that are committed to making significant and measurable change; infuse them with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to reduce reliance on congregate services and assist them to identify and overcome obstacles that stand in the way of accomplishing a transformed service model.

The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities also provides state specific Leadership Institutes across the U.S. in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas and internationally in central Europe, British Columbia, Ontario, and Israel. Participants have represented over 900 agencies, 50 states and 14 countries worldwide.
Nancy Weiss, Director of the National Leadership Consortium states, “The Leadership Institutes are intensive, exciting, and transformational. During the Institutes, participants learn from a faculty of renowned national experts about progressive supports for people with disabilities”. Weiss says, “It is always an amazing week. Participants often arrive unsure and even a bit skeptical; they leave better prepared to effect positive change within their organizations and for the ultimate benefit of people with disabilities and their families. Without exception, they leave the Leadership Institute with renewed energy and excited to put into practice the new ideas they’ve embraced. They go back to their home organizations with a network of colleagues who often become a lifelong circle of support as each participant begins the tough and exhilarating work needed to create stronger organizations, meaningful change, and better lives for the people they support.”