Feedback from live-in staff has been encouraging. The schedule is not a fit for everyone, but for Dominik and Bill, the experience has been positive:
“So, tonight is the last night of the longest shift of my life.”
“So, tonight is the last night of the longest shift of my life. And I loved it! Being a Weekend Warrior, I really liked working 16 hour shifts so I could have more days off during the week. However, I absolutely HATED the eight hours between shifts. Living in Byron, an hour of that would be spent commuting back and forth from home and whatever house I would be (If I was working at Cheney, then it was closer to two hours *insert crying emoji*). I could never just fall asleep right when I got home, I needed some time to decompress from the day and spend some time doing things I enjoyed. So for the past year, every weekend I was working on about two to four hours of sleep. It was hard to take care of myself. Also, I pretty much never packed a lunch and would frequently forget something to drink, so unless I felt the absolute need to spend $20 for an $8-meal on doordash, I would go the whole day without anything to eat or drink. Not healthy!
But, being able to just walk a few steps to my “room” made the world of a difference even though the bed was a bit uncomfy the first night (I am very excited for the roll away to arrive lol). Waking up after getting the closest to eight hours of sleep I have in a long time was great. And the best part, was after getting the morning started, eating breakfast, and sending most of the guys off to school or work, I was able to shower, brush my teeth, put my face moisturizer on, etc. without having to cut into the time I could have spent sleeping when I was at home.
I enjoyed sharing meals with the individuals. I’ve always loved to cook a meal for the guys and hearing JS at Emerald yell ‘This is fantastic!’ made me grin from ear to ear every time. So getting to eat it with them instead of hungrily envying their plate was amazing. I also felt a little closer to them, more like a family member instead of a staff member. That was my house, not just my job. KE even told me, ‘I’m really glad I have a friend like you living here with me.’
All in all, I think this experiment is a success already, at least from my DSP POV. Before starting, I was a little worried I would get cabin fever (not quite The Shining level but still), I actually had a very fun time and could be here another few days! Even though my days working with Goldie Floberg are mostly coming to an end after this, I strongly suggest this be more than an experiment. If the numbers work, I believe this set up benefits not only the DSPs, but the individuals as well. I’m sure there will be some kinks to work out as the weeks come by, but I am sure they will be nothing we can’t handle.” —Dominic K
“I can say that I have noticed it has made the bond that I have with the people I serve even closer since we live together.”
“I can say that I have noticed it has made the bond that I have with the people I serve even closer since we live together. We are doing a lot more stuff in the community since there is more time to spend with them. It is not at all difficult, aside from the fact that I am with my dog and my friends less. I am even more pleased working for Goldie Floberg than I was before. The Center staff have been great at taking care of us…” —Bill R.