Each week we will be honoring a Direct Support Professional at Living Well with a DSP Shoutout. With 500 staff, and a full year ahead of us we will have 52 opportunities to spotlight our staffs incredible passion and hard work. Each recipient will be featured in a weekly email and on this blog and will receive a small gift card and certificate to show our appreciation.
Dick, who works the 3-10PM shift Tuesday through Thursday at our Kennelly home has been with Living Well Disability Services since December of 2014. He is a paraprofessional by day, and prior to that spent 28 years with St. Joseph’s Home for Children in Minneapolis where he supervised both shelter and residential programs. He is a hockey loving devoted family man who is dedicated to his family and helping others, and it appears everyone adores him.
Heidi Reichow, our Dreammaker Volunteer of the year award winner for 2022, has known Dick since he started. Her sister Becky has been with Living Well for 32 years, and she and her family love the people who care for Becky. Heidi says, “We love him! He’s also one of Becky’s favorite people. You can clearly see that Dick loves his job in how he takes care of everyone who lives there, more like family than someone who works there.” Adding, “We are grateful for all of the staff at Kennelly, and how wonderful they are. We are blessed that Becky has so many people that care for her.” Heidi feels that Becky is very safe due to the wonderful staff and thinks that Kennelly is definitely a group home that every other home should aspire to be.
Program Manager Aaron Oden says with a laugh, “I can’t stand Dick, he keeps trying to steal Becky from me.” All kidding aside, Aaron is grateful to have such dedicated staff, and considers the house lucky to have Dick on the team. He thinks Dick is a great asset to Living Well.
All of us at Living Well are excited to be able to tell our DSPs stories and show the world what quality care looks like. We are grateful people like Dick commit their time and energy to caring for others, and thank him for taking care of the crew at Kennelly with such abundant kindness and enthusiasm. Congrats, Dick!
Name: Richard (Dick) Bain
Number of years/months with Living Well: I have worked at Kennelly Home for eight years. I work Tuesday through Thursdays 3-10pm after my day position at Transition Plus in District 196 as a Paraprofessional. Students are 18 to 21 years olds with extra needs for education and employment.
Education: I earned a BS in Social Work from Augsburg College in 1980. We were the first class to become accredited.
Job Experience/History: I worked at St. Joseph’s Home for Children in Mpls for 28 years. I supervised both shelter and residential programs.
Favorite part of the job: One of my favorite things of this job is coming in the door. From the time I walk in the residents are calling to me, saying hi and telling me about their day, then asking what we are doing tonight. Another thing are the activities we do on the nights I work. Tuesdays are arts and crafts or game night. Wednesday night is game night with Yahtzee being the favorite. Thursday is the big night with Bingo. They look forward to this all week.
My motivation comes from my upbringing and myself. I truly try to make each night special in some way to the residents in the home. I take care of the meals on the nights I work. They are made with thought and care and from what they and co-workers say the effort is worth it.
What is your motivation for coming to work: The supervisor and my co-workers are the glue that makes this home something special. Family is important, too. Dawn and myself have been together for 32 years strong. I have a son Matt (37) and his wife Tami, Daughter Shannon (41). Four grandchildren, Alex (26), Riley (16), Dani (16) and Michael (12). I am very proud of each of them and their accomplishments.
What made you apply: I saw an ad for LWDS at a middle school and asked Dawn if I should check out a part time position. It does take away some things I may miss out of on those nights away from family but have loved the nights I work at Kennelly.
What made you stay: Why I stay working a second job at 66 is the special residents who live there. I try my best to enrich their lives. The emotional connection they have with staff is truly a blessing.
What would you tell people interested in joining the team: If you want to make a difference in the lives of others and are motivated to do so this is a wonderful and busy place to work. If you want to sit around and get paid and are not motivated to impact others do not apply at Kennelly Home.
When not at work what do you like to do for fun: The things I enjoy the most are fishing with my grandchildren at our place up north. My grandson will go out with me all day and ask if we can hook up one more nightcrawler. It doesn’t hurt that we do pretty well fishing. Also helping our grandson with his journey playing hockey. He listens to my advice. I was an All-American goaltender in college and we won a National Championship.
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.