Steven Stevenson says he was instantly drawn to New Directions’ strong community, warm environment, and supportive staff at his practicum with us 7 years ago. He studied at Red River College in the Family Support Worker Program and hoped that his hard work would pay off so he could stay on with New Directions in the same program he started in, Supported Independent Living.
Ultimately, Steven’s strong work ethic and commitment to connecting with the people who use this service paid off and was hired as a Community Resource Worker after his 2-month practicum. Steven enjoys working adults because he understands that being an adult can be difficult at times and is happy to help out however he can.
“I’m happy to be doing what I do. I’m very proud of this agency that gives people opportunities to live better every day.”
No two days are the same for Steven in this role and says that his day-to-day schedule is often unpredictable. He spends part of his time in the housing complexes checking in with each person that lives there to see if they need help with anything or just want to hang out. His other shifts happen out in the community or at the Resource Centre at 514 St. Mary Ave.
Steven enjoys helping each person using these services reach different goals and supports them in whatever way he can. When doing his rounds at the apartments, he often helps individuals with daily tasks like cleaning, personal hygiene, emotional support, or just as a companion to watch TV with.
Talking is such an important part of Steven’s work. He values chances to go out for coffee or sit and talk over a game of cards at the Resource Centre. He says it’s a chance to learn more about what each person needs and to know how to serve them better.
“Acknowledging each person and their feelings is so important,” Steven tells both new and familiar faces that he’s there for them if they need anything.
Some individuals need help meeting larger goals, like one individual living in the community, who needs help getting his driver’s license, an essential piece of identification. Steven helps him study for his test and connects him to other resources that can help him practice for his driver’s test.
Recovery from addiction is another type of large life goal that Steven helps with. Recently, he’s been helping a woman who lives in one of our apartment buildings to get sober. Steven helped her to get treatment by reminding her and helping her to fill out her forms, helped her pack, and was there for emotional support as she prepared to leave for treatment.
Steven wants more people to gain an understanding of mental health issues, mental illness, substance abuse, and the importance of harm reduction, which ultimately helps the people using Supported Independent Living services feel accepted, included, and valued in society.
If you want to help adults live full, independent lives, apply to be a volunteer or community resource worker for Supported Independent Living today. You can also donate to Supported Independent Living to help us increase our resources, space, and options for individuals.