Human Resources Center, Inc.’s Director of Community Participation Support (CPS) Services, Allison Daniels, has been accepted into the Capacity Building Institute’s (CBI) 2022 program. The Capacity Building Institute is a training program provided by the Office of Developmental Programs (OPD) and Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). The curriculum will be presented by ODP Medical Director, Dr. Gregory Cherpes, and Dr. Beth Carol to a select group of professionals.
The CBI’s goal is to address how to assist individuals with a dual diagnosis (individuals with an intellectual disability and a co-occurring mental illness) lead more fulfilling and well-rounded lives. According to ODP, the program seeks to educate service providers on best practices through “training, integration of knowledge into practice, and opportunities to build a statewide cohort to work together to effect change and build capacity.” Training topics will include healing lifestyle and social therapy, biographical timelines, impact of trauma, psychotherapeutic interventions, psychopharmacology and diagnosis, creative and expressive therapies, and Functional Behavioral Analysis.
Allison Daniels, M.Psych (Clinical) and licensed behavior specialist, will be the third HRC staff to complete the CBI training. As Director of CPS Services, Allison oversees a variety of programs that support individuals of the intellectual and developmental disability community. The CBI training curriculum will not only offer Allison the ability to expand her dual diagnosis knowledge, but also share the information learned with her team. Regarding her interest in the CBI, Allison remarks, “Many people struggle with both diagnoses and the pandemic has certainly exacerbated mental health conditions. I’m excited to gain more knowledge in this field of work.”
HRC Inc. values continued education and is proud of Allison’s display of drive and ambition. The agency would like to congratulate Allison on her acceptance into the CBI program and wish her luck as she learns alongside industry professionals. HRC Inc. looks forward to supporting Allison in her latest academic endeavor.
Shannon Guinard, HRC-affiliated lifesharing provider to Janice, was recently awarded the Excellence in Lifesharing Award for the entire NEPA region. Lifesharing is a unique residential solution that pairs individuals with disabilities with a local lifesharing provider for long-term in-home daily support. Providers welcome individuals into their homes and facilitate a nurturing family dynamic, offering both support to the individual and a place to live.
When submissions opened for the Excellence in Lifesharing Award, HRC Lifesharing Coordinator, Margie, nominated Shannon with pride. For over two years, Shannon Guinard has been a lifesharing provider to Janice. In that short time-frame, Shannon has prioritized Janice’s continued progression in various facets of her life, adapting to and overcoming the many roadblocks the COVID-19 global pandemic threw their way.
In Margaret’s nomination essay, she details the adaptations Shannon made to ensure Janice received the necessary support and structure throughout their time together. Important implementations such as twice daily walks, promoting healthy eating and cooking, punctual attendance to ZOOM meetings, structured crafting opportunities, and emphasis on continued socialization were key in helping Janice find fullness in her life. Today, Janice is thriving! She works four days a week at Himalayan Institute and once a week at the law office of local lawyer, J.T. Howell. She was also an active participant in the 2021 Special Olympics, taking part in every competition via ZOOM. With Shannon’s encouragement, structure, and support, Janice has enjoyed being an active member of her community. With gratitude, Janice remarks, “we will be family forever.”
Pictured:Back row (L to R): Darlene Glynn (HRC CEO), Margaret Cosgrove (HRC Lifesharing Coordinator and nominator), Shannon Guinard (lifesharer and award recipient), and Bridget Delemarre (HRC Lifesharing Coordinator).Front row (L to R): Susan Philpot (mother to award recipient and additional support provider) and Janice Rudy (HRC lifesharing participant).
Halloween is just around the corner and it’s crunch time for spooky ghosts and goblins! With trick-or-treating given the green light in most areas, preparations are in full swing. While trick-or-treating is generally regarded as a fun-filled night with children running door-to-door and absconding with candy galore, Halloween can be less than accessible for individuals with disabilities. The Human Resources Center of NEPA has a few tips to help ensure a more inclusive Halloween for all!
Tip #1: Sit at the end of your driveway with the candy bowl. This helps individuals in wheelchairs, walkers or with ambulation difficulties to participate in trick-or-treating — plus, it might even help those who are a bit more socially anxious!
Tip #2: Keep outdoor lights on for those who may be visually impaired.
Tip #3: Describe the candy you’re giving out. Some individuals may struggle with sight, while others may have dietary or sensory restrictions that prevent them from enjoying certain kinds of candy.
Tip #4: Be mindful of bright, flashing, or loud Halloween decorations. Individuals that experience processing disorders, seizure disorders and/or increased sensitivity may find these decorations overwhelming.
Tip #5: Withhold judgement. Individuals who are trick-or-treating without a costume may have sensory limitations and not be able to tolerate a costume. Trick-or-treaters who appear “too old” may experience an intellectual or developmental delay. Individuals who don’t excitedly announce, “trick or treat,” at your door may be nonverbal.
In general, HRC would like to encourage everyone to be kind this Halloween. This holiday and it’s fun is for everyone regardless of age, ability, or level of participation. Have a wonderful Halloween!
Human Resources Center, Inc. is becoming a NADSP Member organization with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), which demonstrates a dedication to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), other employees, and people receiving services. Through NADSP Membership, HRC is taking proactive steps to invest in staff development and allocate resources to elevate the status of DSPs, by providing the tools needed for success in their work.
“As a member of NADSP, we can now offer our direct support professionals an increased opportunity to expand their knowledge and to further develop new skills sets as they support individuals with disabilities,” says Darlene Glynn, HRC’s CEO.
HRC is initiating its NADSP Membership in 2021, which will continue throughout the calendar year. HRC will use NADSP Membership to advance its mission to serve and support individuals with disabilities in the Northeast Pennsylvania region.
“Especially in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s critical that we show DSPs that they are essential,” says Joseph Macbeth, President and Chief Executive Officer of NADSP. “NADSP Membership means that organizations are going from praise to promise – not just acknowledging the work of DSPs, but especially providing tangible support and advocacy.”
HRC is a 501(3)c nonprofit organization based in Northeast Pennsylvania providing support and services to individuals with disabilities in Wayne, Pike, Carbon, Monroe, Lackawanna, and Susquehanna counties. Established in 1973, HRC began as a passion project to serve an underrepresented group of the community by promoting inclusion and acceptance. Over four decades later, HRC has grown into a devoted institution of over 400 caring and qualified individuals with a shared goal in mind: serve and support.
With its NADSP membership, employees of HRC will be able to access a robust library of archived webinars on subjects important to DSPs, receive e-newsletters, take advantage of discounted rates for the NADSP E-Badge Academy and the annual NADSP Conference, as well as apply a 10% discount for NADSP Training offerings. Along with these member benefits, HRC will be featured on NADSP’s website, highlighting their dedication to the people they employ, and the in turn, the people they support
The Human Resources Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the HRF Scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Human Resources Foundation serves the community by providing financial assistance to efforts that focus on enriching service and support of individuals with disabilities. One way that HRF accomplishes this mission is by offering scholarships to students pursuing higher education in Human Services or a related field. The four 2021 HRF Scholarship awardees are:
Brynn McGinnis from Honesdale High School. Brynn intends to pursue a major in Education to become an elementary teacher.
Lauren Brand from Wallenpaupack Area High School. Lauren will be attending Ithaca College on a Speech Language Pathology track.
Brianna Garcia from Wallenpaupack Area High School. Brianna plans to major in Speech Pathology and minor in Special Education at Temple University.
DeJanna Richardson from Stroudsburg High School. DeJanna will be attending University of Scranton with a major of Counseling and Human Services.
The Human Resources Foundation congratulates the 2021 HRF Scholarship recipients and is proud to support their efforts in furthering their education and improving the lives of others. To learn more about the Human Resources Foundation and the scholarship program, visit our website www.hrfnepa.org.
It goes without saying that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been widespread and unforgiving. While the health and wellbeing of both those we serve and those we work alongside are paramount, we must also face the financial impact the coronavirus has left in its wake.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of Diversity Rocks, HRF’s annual fundraising event, for two consecutive years. Donations generated through Diversity Rocks fund both community-giving initiatives and HRC programs, all of which support individuals with disabilities. For 2021, it was necessary to consider an alternate way to fundraise without risking the health and safety of our community.
Together, HRC and HRF have decided to partner with NEPA Gives for 2021:HRC as a participating organization, and HRF as a supporting foundation. NEPA Gives is a multi-county, completely virtual fundraising opportunity. Nonprofits seek to raise funds in a one-day-only event, hosted by several local community foundations. This year, HRC and HRF will join this event occurring virtually on June 4th, 2021 at nepagives.org.
We ask once again for your help to continue serving and supporting individuals with disabilities in our community. Thank you for your generous donation and assistance.
To donate, go to: www.nepagives.org/organizations/hrcinc and click “donate”.
John J. Martin Esq. Brian Wilken
Board Chairman, HRC Board President, HRF
First established in 1973, the Human Resources Center began as a passion project intended to lend a helping hand to a severely underrepresented group of the community. Founded by a collective of local professionals and parents, HRC was established to provide services and support to individuals with disabilities in a time where there were very few options. At HRC’s inception, community acceptance of individuals with disabilities was sparse. But as understanding and knowledge of the disability community grew, so did the Human Resources Center.
What started as a small-scale passion project bloomed into the multi-county nonprofit corporation that we know as HRC today. However, despite public awareness of the disability community increasing, familiarity with HRC’s rapidly growing programs and services did not. The community came to understand HRC as the helping hand to individuals with disabilities — but the “what” and “how” became shrouded in nuance. We hope you will allow us to re-introduce ourselves to the community in which we have been a part of for over 45 years.
The Human Resources Center provides support services to individuals with disabilities throughout much of NEPA including Wayne, Pike, Carbon, Monroe, Lackawanna, and Susquehanna counties. Our consumers are individuals who have been diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability and seek progressive services options that address individualized goals and interests. Service plans are centered on the individual receiving said services, meaning no two plans are identical, and aim to encourage self-advocacy and independence. So, how do we do this?
All of HRC’s services can be categorized into one of three available programs: Community Participation Support (CPS), Residential, or Employment. CPS is home to two of our more popular programs, the first of which being our Vocational Training Facilities, and the second is a more life skills-based service option called the Day Program. Residential Services are broken up into three groups: Home and Community-Based services, a host family-style service called Lifesharing, and group living services in our Community Homes. And lastly HRC’s Employment services offer Supported Employment in the community, School to Employment transitional services, and HRC Manufacturing, which takes place in our VTC facilities. At the Human Resources Center, our consumers learn lifelong skills that filter to nearly every aspect of life. Skills such as socialization, hygiene, money management, career coaching, cooking, cleaning, working with others, and so much more. In doing so, we employ over 400+ local professionals to provide the dedicated care and support needed to help our consumers succeed. What began simply as people helping people, blossomed into friends supporting friends, and now over 45 years later, the Human Resources Center is truly a family at its core.
Our consumers are always giving us a reason to brag about them here at the Human Resources Center, Inc. Today, we’d like to spotlight two young men who have been making big moves in their communities.
Zachary Potter, a Honesdale High School graduate, recently celebrated his one year work anniversary at the Wayne County Courthouse. Prior to serving the county, Zach participated in the Project SEARCH program at the Wayne Memorial Hospital. Project SEARCH is an innovative business-led employment preparation program that serves to transition individuals to community-based employment. Having successfully completed the program, Zach obtained his first job at the courthouse where he remains over a year later.
This huge accomplishment is a result of Zach’s incredible work ethic and ability to adjust to changing expectations, specifically after returning to his role in the maintenance department following the COVID-19 layoff. His steadfast support system of family, co-workers, and job coaches played a key role in helping Zach achieve this milestone. His former job coach and HRC employee, Ariel Hoherchak, explains, “pandemic-related routine changes helped to make his role easier on him, improving his work amazingly!” Another job coach and HRC employee, Megan Sherman, remarks, “Zach isn’t one for the spotlight. He does his job with focus and doesn’t expect accolades.” She adds, “he is reliable and rarely misses a day of work. I’m happy to be part of his team!”
HRC Director of Career Options and Development, Sean Donohoe, couldn’t be more thrilled for Zach’s latest achievement and hopes there are many more years to come. “We are so proud of him,” Sean says. Congratulations, Zach!
But the accolades don’t end there. Matthew Giansanti, a participant of HRC’s Small Group Employment program, has recently headed up an initiative to bring better lighting to Milford Borough crosswalks. Matt’s employment hours frequently require him to walk home after dark, especially during the bleak winter months. He quickly noticed that lack of adequate lighting at crosswalks resulted in cars not stopping for pedestrians at marked crosswalks. Identifying the danger this situation posed, Matt decided to create a petition and garner support for the introduction of more sufficient lighting at Milford Borough crosswalks, the signatures of which accounted for a staggering 130 names in support. Matt is slated to present his case at the Milford Borough Council meeting via Zoom.
In the meantime, Matt has focused his efforts on promoting the wearing of orange wristbands by individuals with disabilities. This endeavor comes on the heels of a viral CNN video depicting a 16-year old diagnosed with epilepsy and autism being hit and handcuffed by Fresno police while having a seizure. The purpose of the orange wristbands worn by individuals with disabilities is to more clearly identify such individuals to law enforcement and rescue teams in the community. Matt also advocates for better training for law and rescue personnel, remarking that this horrifying instance of misconduct “shouldn’t happen” and can be prevented.
Both of Matt’s initiatives were brought to life by Matt’s support team who were inspired and moved by his concern for others. His mother, Karen Guest, and co-workers, Ashley Collman and Sean Cavalone, helped Matt bring his aspiration to fruition. Commissioner Matt Osterberg was also an avid supporter of Matt’s efforts, along with Milford’s residents, who offered their signatures in his support. HRC employee, Cindy Hansen, sums up Matt’s intentions, stating, “he wants to make a difference.” We are incredibly proud of both Zach and Matt’s commitment to their communities and the betterment of them in their own unique ways. The Human Resources Center, Inc. would like to thank these young men for their dedication and service!