Quality pay for quality care

Quality pay for quality care

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Quality pay for quality care

Our industry is in crisis. Many businesses have experienced firsthand the shortage of workers in today’s economy; however, when we are short staffed, the disabled community suffers tremendously. Our current employees are putting in extra hours and fighting to make ends meet. And while it is heroic and necessary, it shouldn’t be. This is where mistakes can happen and crisis begins.

On May 24, Community Services for Every1 joined its Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) peers to sound the alarm to New York State. We are no longer asking for funds, we are demanding a living wage that is just and equal to the work that is required. Our industry has not seen a fair adjustment in over a decade, all while legislators fight for a higher wage for fast food workers – a wage higher than what they allocate for our direct support professionals. It’s discriminatory and unjust.

This crisis isn’t going away without the State’s intervention. Until we see change, this movement is only the beginning. We ask our friends, followers, and supporters to join us in sounding the alarm. We are in crisis. Please help us! Call on the Governor and ask your State Representatives for a 35% increase for direct support professionals. We need to start providing quality pay for quality care!

In the media:

Day Hab gets creative with their art studio

Day Hab gets creative with their art studio

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Day Hab gets creative with their art studio

Our Abbott Day Hab group recently finished painting a beautiful abstract wall for their new Abbott Art Studio! The art studio is funded through a 2020 mini-grant, which has been used to purchase chalkboard paint, chalk, standing art easels and tabletop easels, canvases, acrylic paint and other art supplies.

The art studio will be used as a space where people can express their creativity, participate in art classes and projects, and learn new art techniques.

The group’s first big project was painting the abstract wall. They spent several weeks taping the design and painting different colors to create a fun, colorful wall to inspire them during future projects. Everyone had a great time using their creativity and were beyond excited to see the outcome of their hard work.

The Day Hab group’s next project will be painting their chalkboard wall and hosting some fun art classes. Great job to everyone involved! We look forward to seeing future creations from our Abbott Day Hab!

A young man we support paints part of the wall design
A young man we support concentrates on painting part of the wall design
A man we support begins taping the abstract designs on the wall
Three of the guys who helped paint the wall pose with the finished product
A picture of the finished wall with its newly painted design

Recognizing our Nurses!

Recognizing our Nurses!

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Recognizing our Nurses!

Although Nurses’ Week was observed earlier this month, we are grateful for our Nursing Team all year round! Our Nursing Team is incredible, especially with how they’ve handled the additional challenges brought on by the pandemic.

They are always willing to chip in and help one another out as well as other departments. They volunteer to teach the med class, pick-up additional sites or just help with general support and triage.

Throughout the pandemic, they were monitoring the status of the individuals they support, providing in person check-ups for positive cases, and helping to cover vacancies. They have volunteered to not only give vaccines at our clinics but also to monitor those post-vaccine during the clinics.

Director of Clinical Services Michelle Rechin said, “I have sheer gratitude for everything they do day in and day out, as well as how they’ve helped us through this pandemic by being leaders, role models and caring for everyone’s overall well-being.”

Thank you to our amazing Nursing Team for your hard work and your dedication to keeping those we support safe and healthy!

We love our Nurses social post

Highlighting employee’s positive impact

Highlighting employee’s positive impact

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Highlighting employee’s positive impact

Charles Blakely has been a driver with our Transportation Department for four years. He is being recognized for his compassion, dedication and the wonderful service he provides each day.

After retiring from the Department of Veteran Affairs, Charles wanted something to do with his time, so he began working at Community Services. Prior to that, Charles served in the Navy and he worked at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and Bethlehem Steel. He said he continues to work at our agency because he truly enjoys it. He likes his coworkers and the individuals he sees every day.

Transportation Manager Jonathan Brant said, “Charles has a unique character, personality and class that I wish I could replicate. He is the kind of person that makes the world a better place.”

Jonathan said Charles displays good manners, respect, compassion, a code of ethics, and a dedication to serve others every minute of every day, and he does it all with humility. Charles has a positive attitude, even when he finds himself in sticky situations. He manages to brighten even the worst days. He treats everyone with dignity and respect.

Charles would say that he is just doing his job, but in reality he provides exemplary service every day. Charles engages the people he serves and their families and support groups. He ensures that the individuals on his bus and their loved ones are confident that they are in good hands when placed in his care.

Charles does a million little things that have monumental impacts. When he sees that the floor is dirty, he sweeps it. He cleans a mess when he finds one, helps push out a car stuck in the snow, shovels snow when the plow doesn’t quite get everything, and helps brush off the snow of others’ cars. Charles reminds his coworkers that everything will be okay when they feel overwhelmed and so much more.

He goes above and beyond by reaching out to families of the people he transports and communicates if he will be early or late. During the cold weather, Charles made sure that no one had to wait in the cold for him. He works with programs to let them know if there are any issues or concerns with the people he transports, and he keeps everyone safe.

Executive Assistant Colleen Sullivan said, “My daughter, Reilly, was getting on the van and somehow she wrapped the seat belt around one of her tires of her wheelchair. Charles was very calm, did not blame her or make her feel bad, and talked to her as he fixed it to keep her calm.”

Charles’ charm will win you over instantly. His kindness and warm personality will improve your day in just one short conversation. Charles is an absolute gentleman and a role model for everyone. Thank you, Charles, for all that you do to support the people we serve and your coworkers. We are so lucky to have you as a part of the Community Services Team!

Charles Blakely headshot

Celebrating Easter with some fun activities

Celebrating Easter with some fun activities

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Celebrating Easter with some fun activities

People at our IRAs and Community Based Day Hab celebrated the Easter holiday earlier this month with some fun activities!

Tina Gagnon, a DSP at one of our Southtown IRAs, dressed up as the Easter Bunny and brought sweet treats for each of the people she supports. She wanted to bring a safe and fun Easter experience to everyone at the IRA. Our Grand Island IRA also had some fun participating in a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt. Everyone had a blast wearing glow sticks and searching for the bright colored eggs. People at another Southtowns IRA also had a great time dyeing eggs different colors.

Participants at our Community Based Day Hab celebrated with a party, enjoying treats and Easter egg dyeing with their friends.

Thank you to all of our employees who helped organize these fun Easter activities so the people we support could enjoy and celebrate the holiday safely!

The Easter Bunny poses with a man we support
People we support enjoy an Easter party
Dyed eggs for Easter are drying on racks
The Easter Bunny gives a basket to a woman we support
People we support dye eggs for Easter
A young man wearing glow sticks gives the thumbs up
Glow in the dark eggs for a special Easter egg hunt
A young man we support wears glow stick glasses

Making strides toward independence

Making strides toward independence

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Making strides toward independence

At Community Services, our number one goal is making dreams come true for the people we support and helping them become independent.

Mary Ann has been working toward her goals with us for many years, and recently, she achieved two huge milestones!

“I got a job at Delta Sonic! Most of you know I was told I’d never be able to work or even live on my own. My struggles were so bad I didn’t even think I could do it,” she said.

Mary Ann worked hard to overcome challenges and is so excited to be working at her first job. She said she loves working at Delta Sonic. She works there three days a week and some of her responsibilities include helping to wipe down the cars after they go through the car wash.

Not only did she start a new job, but Mary Ann also moved into her first apartment! She said she enjoys being able to be on her own and do things for herself.

“If this agency didn’t exist, none of this would be possible,” Mary Ann said.

While we are thrilled to have helped Mary Ann achieve her dreams, she succeeded because of her hard work and effort. We are so proud of everything that Mary Ann has accomplished and grateful that she shared her story with us!

“I am where I need to be thanks to you all,” Mary Ann said. “I learn a lot down the line from you all, like not to use my disabilities as an excuse. It does not define me. I have an ability not a disability!”

Mary Ann headshot