We’re hiring people who care about people. In fact, we have several openings for Direct Support Professionals to work in any one of our 18 residences. Your job might entail cooking with the residents, enjoying the laughter and joy of being in a family-like environment or an overnight shift keeping a watchful eye on the home.
If you’re a caring person and want to make a difference in someone’s life, stop by our hiring event, fill out an application and you’ll get an interview on the spot. Our Hiring Event is from 9 am to 2 pm Monday, July 18 at the ReHab Center’s Administration Building, 1439 Buffalo St., Olean.
You can also send your resume ahead to firstname.lastname@example.org to get a head start.
Life as a Direct Support Professional:
Compassion opens the door to career success
Compassion is the cornerstone to Joanie Onufry’s leadership as a residential supervisor. She paved each step of the way with the joy of caring about the folks she supports, first working overnights as a Direct Support Professional and now as a supervisor.
After searching for a career where caring for others would be valued, she found the right job and the right place as a Direct Support Professional at the Five Mile residence in Allegany. Over the next 10 years, she has steadily moved up the Agency’s career ladder receiving more responsibility at each step. Today, she’s a “rock star,” in Agency-speak.
“I was the kind of person who couldn’t find my nitch,” she said. “It’s a blessing to be in this environment to be able to help the folks enjoy life. “
It’s their “child-like innocence,” she says that touches her most.
“It’s so good for the soul. You can come in here with whatever you have going on in your life and by the end of the day it’s hard to leave.
“I’ve been blessed in this job by the folks and the agency.”
Her caring attitude is palpable. It radiates through the residence which is home to almost a dozen people with varying levels of limitation.
“I love working with the folks. That’s my job. When I walk through that door, it’s the quality time I have with them that means the most.”
She worked overnights for three years, then moved to days before being promoted to a mentor, a position she held for a year before being further promoted to supervisor. She remained at Five Mile for another two years before coming over to the Big Six Residence, also as a supervisor.
“I love the folks. I love what we do as an agency. I love what we stand for, and I love working with the folks,” she said.
And the Agency noticed. While Joanie was comfortable at Five Mile, she was moved because of her skills and capabilities.
“That was a real confidence booster,” she said. “The Agency gives you the ability and opportunity to grow.”
The Agency saw Joanie’s leadership potential and wanted to help her succeed.
“They said they noticed the potential in me,” she said, appreciatively.
“I’ve gone through every link in the chain to get to this point. I have also worked every shift to seriously be able to do this,” she said. “You can’t relate if you haven’t done it.”
From the Agency’s perspective, Joanie is a perfect example of leadership. She is making a difference in the lives of people one day at a time.
Cooking Together at the Big 6th
As any family returning home after a day away at work, they gather in the kitchen to cook and share their daily experiences.
And, for the folks living at the “Big 6th” residence at 310 North 6th Street, Olean, it’s no different.
“They’re a family and live like one,” Joanie Onufry, supervisor, said.
“They set the table, pour juice for each other, cut up food to the right consistency. We help them open cans.”
Most of the people living at the Big 6 work at SubCon during the day and return home around 4 p.m.
They are fairly self-supportive and may only need a nudge to make their beds or a little help getting in and out of the shower.
“They look at the staff as their family, too,” Joanie said.
“I work until 9 pm on Tuesdays and am always getting my dinner invitations. They all want me to eat with them.”
And, she does.
“It can be hard to leave them at the end of the day. I’ve been blessed by them and the Agency,” she said.
Making a difference one day at a time
Keith Pierce is a Direct Support Professional who left a 16-year career in security to make a difference in people’s lives. He posted the following on Facebook during a break at 2 am on one of his overnight shifts at the Big 6, one of the Agency’s 18 residences. His thoughts and feelings are shared by many others who work for the agency, and who are succeeding in making a meaningful difference in people’s lives:
“People ask me all the time, ‘Why did you leave security. You left a well-paying job, a college degree in Criminal Justice. Why not stick to it? You’ve been in it for so long that you could have retired from security.”
I just smile at them, and say it was a chapter that was ready to end. I got to meet so many amazing people over the years. I was enlisted to go to NYC back when hurricane Sandy hit. I was there for nearly a month. I got to help out with the relief and see things that I never can unsee. I’ve seen people homeless because of the storm. I’ve seen boats just laying in the middle of the highway. A house just sitting in the middle of a swamp where it didn’t belong.
Out of all this I did get to see one thing that opened my eyes. I saw people helping out strangers. I saw communities that come together to help out each other. I worked long hours to just help out the best I could. 24 hour shifts every other day with 12 hours in between. I didn’t expect a thank you. I was there for me. I was there to help out any way I can.
I’m no longer in security because again that chapter ended and whenever a chapter ends a new one begins. People ask me now what are you. What do you do for a living. I work with people. I make a difference in their lives one second at a time. I work long hours just to better their lives. I am part of a group of many who have the same passion. To help better lives. I didn’t choose this; this chose me.
I am a Direct Support Professional. We make a difference one day at a time.