Oct 13, 2020

Teamwork leads to success

Ciara Stewart, a young woman and independent provider, and Bruce Meyers, an older man with a developmental disability, stand in front of a white van. Ciara drives Bruce to his day program. Both have masks on their face.
Bruce Meyers thrives on routine, and as the wave of coronavirus closures hit in March, he suddenly found himself at home full-time. “I was sad,” he said about his day program closing.

Meyers tried to stay busy, going to parks or other safe places with Jonathan and Tamie Peel, who have supported him through shared living for 18 years, but he missed his friends. The disruption to his daily routine was rough, but his team’s dedication helped get him back on track.

When COVID-19 restrictions began to ease, Meyers, 68, wanted to go back to his day program, and the Peels also were eager to return to working full-time. Unfortunately, he was not able to return to his previous provider because of his age and other factors.

As the family looked for other options, a friend and colleague suggested trying East Side Day Academy, which was a smaller group setting and would minimize his risk. “Bruce was excited about this possibility, and we started looking for transportation options, knowing the potential barrier given the distance from our home,” Tamie said.

His HCDDS service and support administrator put out a transportation request, and Ciara Stewart responded that she could start within two business days. Stewart, who has been an independent provider for three years, started working with Meyers in July. “It’s been great,” she said. “Bruce is so nice and sweet. He’s really chill and enjoys the ride.”

Stewart’s kindness and compassion, as well as her dependability, have been important to Meyers as he transitioned to a new normal. Meyers said he likes riding with Ciara and attending East Side Day Academy, where he goes to parks, stores, or other places in the community with his day program staff.

“Ciara is a huge reason Bruce has been so successful. Not to mention, he really looks forward to seeing her every single day!” Tamie said. “This team is outstanding—they not only gave Bruce purpose again each day, but they impacted our family as a whole and enabled us to work and resume our normal schedules.”
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