19 Feb Weathering the Storm, Literally
by Cassi Dean, Director Supported Living Program
If we have learned nothing else this year, we have learned what an amazing group of caring professionals work among us at New Hope!! We have faced unforeseen challenges, that have pushed us to our limits, but never changed who we are or what we do! If a global pandemic did not impact the high-quality support we provide, what does a minor (ok, maybe major) snowstorm have on us? Absolutely nothing!!
Last week, as Indiana braced for a major winter storm, what did we do? We did exactly what we always do in the face of adversity; we prepared, we planned, we helped each other and when things got tough – we got tougher!! As Supported Living and Group Homes braced for the storm, our residential managers, team leaders and maintenance teams worked together to ensure every home had the supplies needed to remain safe. Salt, shovels, food, toilet paper, flashlights and any other necessities were all in place before the first wave of snow coated the ground. In addition to ensuring adequate physical supplies, our leaders spent hours working with our most precious resource of all, our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs)! Plans were made for associates to come early, ahead of the storm and we all prepared for the possibility that shifts would need to be extended as the road conditions deteriorated. As always, our DSP workforce rose to the occasion and did what was necessary to keep everyone safe!
This winter storm response is just one of many reasons I am so proud of our New Hope team and our associates’ commitment to New Hope’s Core Values of Service, Reverence, Integrity, Wisdom, Creativity, Dedication, and Inclusivity!!
Just in the Supported Living Program, many associates went above and beyond to ensure the individuals they serve would have the support they need despite the storm. Omolola Esan, DSP displayed her commitment to the Core Values of Wisdom and Dedication when she arrived to work early for her overnight shift, even though her vehicle was stuck at home in the snow! Omolola preserved, showing incredible dedication as she walked several blocks to the main road to catch a ride – simply extraordinary!! Karey Smith and Godfrey Onuchukwu showed their commitment to service when both associates chose to sleep at their work sites, so they would be readily available to work long hours the next day. In addition to our Direct Care teams, leadership was hard at work as well! Team Leader Lauren Dearringer showed great integrity throughout the storm, as she picked up associates in need of rides to and from work and cleared driveways for associates who needed snow removal, to get in and out as well!
Although I have highlighted only a few of the many associates, who went above and beyond the call of duty, I know that there are so many more – some of them I will never know. To all those who sacrificed and worked hard during this storm and to all of you who will do the same next time, I would like to say THANK YOU!! It is each of you, in every department, that makes this amazing organization not just essential but exceptional!