Discovering resilience that lies within
Your gift gave Jeremy a safe place to be home
What could have been harmful to his life, instead revealed a shining ray of hope for us all.
When the world began to lock down and homes and workplaces entered into a time of quarantine – one of the first concerns of Group Home Manager Heidi Heyse, was how this would affect the routine and lifestyle of her residents. One in particular weighed heavy on her mind – how would Jeremy react to a lot of change and the unknown that was ahead? Jeremy has moderate intellectual disabilities, intermittent explosive disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder – schedules and routines are everything to him. But because of you Jeremy was not alone – his home was full of dedicated staff who could reassure him at every turn and in greeting each new day.
HumanKind’s group home residents have not been spared from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the challenges have been magnified in a home of individuals with developmental disabilities who are all considered high risk. Jeremy and his housemates have really struggled to understand why they couldn’t go to day support, to their jobs, to the store for their regular outing, to church on Sunday, or even have outside friends and family come visit. These changes and abrupt stops to activities are typically met with a lot of frustration, stress and anxiety.
Jeremy’s reaction to change was one of the staff’s biggest concerns. Having encountered small changes to his routine in the past, they knew it would be challenging. Because of your support, Jeremy had someone to walk with on this journey. Staff reassured him – sometimes several times an hour. He would ask, “Am I going to work tomorrow?” and staff would say, “No”. “So no one is going to work tomorrow?” he would ask. Staff right there to comfort him, “No – no one is going to work and we are all going to get through this together.”
He’s not alone – and because of you, Jeremy is surrounded by passionate staff who have felt more like family during this time.
Now the highlight of every Tuesday is Craft Group – which has become Jeremy’s favorite activity. The great room is converted to work space and filled with materials for residents to create seasonal decorations and gifts. Music is an essential part of Craft Group – and has had a great impact on Jeremey. The music has really helped him during this time having a calming effect to reduce stress and anxiety.
As a high risk group, there are still a lot of restrictions on Jeremy and his housemates to return to the activities they miss. But through it all, you have been there to keep Jeremy safe, ensuring his home could quickly get the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, appropriates masks, face shields, and resources needed. Thank you for the good you make possible.
“I’ve learned a lot during this time with the residents. We have a lot less frustration and behaviors because they’re not rushed through the day, they are not tired,” shared Heidi. “We are discovering how much better life can be when we have time for a moment of reflection – something we all need in a day.”
You were the difference in Jeremy’s life. Without you, he might not have stayed safe through this crisis. Thank you for making sure Jeremy knows he is not alone. Right now there are other adults in our group homes, who much like Jeremy, need resources to stay safe through this crisis. Because of you and your support, help and supplies are ready and waiting for a neighbor in need.
Learn more about the Developmental Disabilities program at HumanKind by visiting here.