Staff Spotlight: Caren Holmes instrumental in Supported Community Living program
November 19, 2019
Latham staff member Caren Holmes makes a difference every day in the lives of individuals with special needs. As the Adult Services Supported Community Living Assistant Manager, she helps ten program participants in a Shared Living arrangement or independent living (in their own apartment) – all of whom receive individualized support services. For Caren, Latham Centers is exactly where she wants to be.
“I have always wanted to help people. Latham Centers is the ideal fit,” Caren said. “A friend told me about Latham. It sounded like really meaningful work, and I knew my education and interest in working in the human services field would be a good match,” she recalled. She accepted the Awake Overnight Counselor position and began working in our Plymouth group residence two years ago, beginning a new career that was right in line with her education and aspirations. Caren had received a degree in sociology and psychology and worked for over ten years in an office setting, but it wasn’t fulfilling. The overnight schedule was perfect for her; she plays in several softball leagues, so she was able to continue her daytime passion.
Caren said that right away, she liked the work. She was later recommended for (and accepted) the Supported Community Living (SCL) managerial position. Since April, Caren has been working with Greg Powers, SCL Manager, who is grateful for her assistance. “Caren has been a great addition to the program, and as one of the first new members of a growing team, she will have a guiding hand in how our program evolves.”
Caren is a true multi-tasker in her work – she does case management, residential visits, client financials, reports and other paperwork, and transportation to community activities and appointments. Every day is different, and she loves working with the individuals she supports. “I learn something new from them all the time, and seeing the improvement and the progress they make is remarkable… They are great,” she said. Caren added that she especially appreciates the positive culture with Shared Living providers and how much they care for their clients.
Caren and Greg continue to expand the supported living options at Latham, working with Latham residents, their families, and prospective Shared Living providers. A recent Shared Living video produced by Latham Centers (thanks to the excellent videography of Tom Chartrand of Shoreline Media Productions) is available here. Latham Centers is currently seeking additional Shared Living providers. Information about the program is at https://www.lathamcenters.org/adult-shared-living/.
Pictured above: Caren leaves Latham’s Orleans Admin office, headed for an appointment-filled afternoon.