Our DSP Shoutout for this week is Addison. They are an occasional employee at our East Emerson house, which means they pick up shifts when schedules align. Addison is full of energy and compassion, and in their spare time are fixing up a bus and making it a full-on mobile home to help ease their wanderlust! They are colorful, adventurous, and big hearted.
Program Manager, Jenny Schwoch, says, “Addison takes great care and time to get to know the people served and their needs and wants. They are very flexible with picking up shifts at the last minute or changing their schedule to take someone to an appointment. Addison brings fun and laughter t o the house with their upbeat attitude. They are very person centered and a joy to work with.”
Anna, the sister of someone served at the house says, “Addison has been such a wonderful addition to my brother’s life. He’s been with Living Well for over half of his life, and the addition of Addison to his care team has been so meaningful. I’m so appreciative of how they help facilitate his daily needs, as well as social outings and medical visits. They stayed with us over our family Thanksgiving, and it was such a relief knowing that not only our brother would be taken care of during the visit, but that Addison would add so much light to the event as well. Such a lovely human being who cares so deeply for those they take care of.”
Whether full time, part time, or occasional status, our staff SHINES. We employ some of the best in the business at Living Well, and are grateful for them every day. Hugs and appreciation to all care providers who make a career out of caring. Congrats, Addison—we appreciate you. Please take a few minutes to read all about this wonderful Direct Support Professional.
Gender pronouns: they/them
Number of years/months with Living Well: 2 years 5 months
Hobbies/Interests: Animals, hiking, writing, paper and fiber arts, travel, podcasts, music.
Education: BA in Creative Writing from DePaul University in Chicago.
Job Experience/History: Oh boy, I’m all over the place. I’ve been a tour guide, a book seller, an actor, a camp counselor, a figure model, a landscaper, a dog walker — I’m a jack of all trades.
Favorite part of the job: Trips! I was able to provide vacation support for one of the residents at East Emerson this past Thanksgiving and it was the most fun I’ve had at work in my life. It was such a privilege to be invited into his family for the week. This job is strange in the sense that I can’t share details about persons served (some of my most meaningful relationships) with the rest of the people in my life. So being able to celebrate this individual with a whole group of people who also understand how incredible he is was unforgettably special to me.
Favorite or craziest work story: Working with autistic clients helped me realize that I’m also autistic. Knowing this about myself has shifted my entire sense of self into clearer focus and improved my quality of life in ways I can’t even count. I am infinitely grateful for my relationships with other disabled people for reflecting a truth about myself back to me.
What is your motivation for coming to work: Persons served, definitely.
What made you apply: I started working in disability services at LifeWorks’s Eagan day program in 2019. When Covid hit, LifeWorks Eagan closed down and I was laid off. I was devastated; I had come to care deeply for the people who attended that day program and didn’t know if I would ever see them again. When my unemployment benefits ended in the fall of 2020, I knew there were tons of LIfeWorks clients who lived in Living Well homes, so I reached out and ended up getting hired at East Emerson. Not only do I get to work with three residents who I knew from Lifeworks, I’ve also gained three new relationships with residents I hadn’t known previously.
What made you stay: I sound like a broken record, but the people I serve at East Emerson.
What would you tell people interested in joining the team: This work is about listening and slowing down. If you can let go of how you think things ‘should’ go, you’ll be gifted with a sense of joy and serenity that goes way beyond your work life.
When not at work what do you like to do for fun: I’m converting a school bus into a tiny home, so I spend a lot of time building or researching for the bus. I also like going to concerts, collaging and spending time with my sisters.
Do you volunteer in your community or school: I love participating in the fellowship of the 12-step program I practice.
Want to nominate a DSP? Please email email@example.com to nominate a Living Well Disability Service DSP. Thank you! Want to underwrite our DSP Shoutout Program? Please contact Devan Heinsen at firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorship opportunities.