24 Nov Justin Group Home Reopens After Renovations
Article written by Gail Mehrlich, Team Leader at Justin group home.
Chaos…a word we all know so well in our lives, but something that is not easily handled and requires patience. This is exactly what happened when Justin group home was displaced at the beginning of June 2023. The staff at Justin acted quickly when a sprinkler pipe burst causing all of the residents who live in the home to have to vacate. Two individuals temporarily moved to other New Hope group homes and six moved into the Homewood Suites.
There were many ups and downs that came with six men living at a hotel. Our team worked to ensure there was as little change as possible in the individuals’ routines. This took a lot of creativity, dedication and wisdom. We wanted to accommodate the needs of the individuals who longed for their own space and independence. This was a learning curve for both the individuals and our associates, but with the combined creativity of our team, we were able to operate very similarly to how we did at Justin group home. We maintained a routine of taking the guys to Day Services, going on community outings and going to appointments as usual.
Our team had to become creative and come up with activities and new community outings so that the guys could be out of the hotel room as much as possible. They loved being able to visit new places in the community and enjoyed when staff treated them to special snacks (especially Burger King) to keep their spirits up. One of their favorite places to visit during their hotel stay was the park where they enjoyed going on picnics and visiting the splash pad. Additionally, the hotel had a basketball court and many individuals enjoyed shooting some hoops. They also enjoyed an outing to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Special thanks to New Hope Board Member Audra Blasdel for providing the guys with tickets! This outing created a special memory for the Justin Group Home guys that they will cherish forever.
Living at the hotel would not have been as successful as it was without our amazing Justin group home team. They had to get creative to keep things running smoothly. When it came to preparing meals, we often cooked at a different location and brought the food in for the guys to enjoy. We also had to navigate using stairs as many of the guys were not used to using them. Our team helped the guys become comfortable with using them, and they eventually were able to get to and from the room with ease!
Our Justin group home village was wonderful during this whole process. Families helped ease the individuals into the extended hotel stay and two of our other group home leaders stepped up and took our two non-ambulatory ladies in and made them feel right at home. I am truly grateful for the support I had.
We are grateful for the memories we made during our hotel stay, but are so excited to be home! We moved back into our newly renovated home earlier this month. The day the individuals came back to their home, there were many smiles, lots of dancing and a few tears shed. We are now working to re-establish our routines and are excited to make new memories in our home. Thank you to Ken Rose for working with the construction crew and creating such a beautifully renovated environment for everyone living at Justin group home.