Direct Support Professionals Liz Cromwell and Travis Miller with members of the Home of Hope golf team.
When Liz Cromwell first started working at Home of Hope, she felt a little overwhelmed and wasn’t sure if she was the right person for the job. However, she says, “A friend of mine who also worked here said to just give it a few weeks and guaranteed that I’d fall in love with it and stay. I’m sure glad I took her advice because I’ve now been here for seven years and I do love it. I love interacting with the clients. Every day is something new, so I never get bored. I really love seeing our clients learn new things and try new things. And I really love how they greet everyone with a smile.”
Home of Hope is excited to recognize all of its direct care staff throughout National Direct Support Professionals Week from September 11th through September 17th, a week set aside each year to honor the work of the men and women who provide services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Home of Hope employs more than 340 men and women, almost 300 of whom provide direct support to help individuals with disabilities live as independently as possible. This includes work in Home of Hope’s 49 different home settings as well as job coaching in the vast range of work places Home of Hope provides for individuals with disabilities.
“Our job coaches and the men and women who work in our homes are an amazing and dedicated group of people. They give so much of themselves every day to support the people we serve through our programs,” said Dr. Ralph Richardson, Home of Hope’s CEO. “They deserve our thanks throughout the year for everything they do, but this week gives us a chance to stop and recognize them for their exceptional work.”
One of Home of Hope’s direct care workers, Sharlotte Snedden, recently explained why she’s been with Home of Hope for more than three decades now: “The individuals we work with are really like family, and you want to take care of your family. I’ve been here for 33 years total. It might sound funny, but I really love taking clients to their doctor appointments. We get to visit with each other and the people at the appointments and really have a good time just being out and about town. I also love how fast paced everything is during the day. You have to really be on your toes, and I like that!”
Sharlotte is also part of the Employee Council at Home of Hope. She loves being part of a team that represents the employee’s thoughts and concerns and being a representative for the employees if something needs to be discussed. The Employee Council is one way Home of Hope’s staff members can support each other throughout the year.
Home of Hope has fun things planned throughout the week, including a raffle made possible by a generous solution from Boomer Solutions Pharmacy. “We are really excited to have some fun celebrating all of our direct care staff this week”, said COO Dena Pitts.
Direct Support Professional Week is recognized by the State of Oklahoma and was given a Proclamation by Governor Mary Fallin. It is celebrated annually across the country to honor the tens of thousands of workers who enable people with intellectual, developmental and other significant disabilities to live healthy, independent, and fulfilling lives in their communities.
To learn more about becoming a direct care professional at Home of Hope, contact Kristi Allensworth at (918) 256-7825, ext. 303, or email Kristi.Allensworth@homeofhope.com.