A Magical Place
When Tanya thinks back on her time with Communitas, she says it was like having a second family that she loved to spend time with. Her job as a Residential Support Worker was filled with both joys and challenges and it had a lasting impact on her life.
“The home where I served was not just somewhere I punched in for the day, we were a long-term, close-knit group and got to know each other very well,” she says. “We all supported each other and shared our thoughts, ideas and experiences. I always said that it was a magical place. There was such a strong feeling of care and connectedness in the house that all those who entered seemed to sense.”
She says her work at Communitas taught her many things about herself and about connecting with others. She learned to work within a team but also to work unsupervised. She learned several transferable skills like time management, organization, and attention to detail. But some of the most important things she learned are personal: reserving judgment, listening carefully, and investing time in relationships. She uses all of these skills in her work today as a Correctional Officer. There are obvious differences between the two jobs, but Tanya sees how the things she learned in her previous job make a difference in her work in the prison.
“The impact I have on the inmate population is not as obvious as it was with people in a residential care home,” she says. “However, knowing that the time I take to speak with the inmates and address their issues, can be the difference between someone who is supported in using better coping skills to address his problems, or someone who loses control and will potentially hurt himself or others.”
Tanya loves her work and is grateful for the opportunity to work in another person-centred setting. She enjoys her colleagues and appreciates the professional skills they bring to the job. Still, she notes the difference between working with a small staff team in a home setting and working in a large-scale federal penitentiary where it’s harder to have a voice.
“Working in a home with a small team, each staff member has the opportunity to have their thoughts and ideas heard and has the potential to make a real change,” she explains. “As a result, you see the difference you make in the lives of others, as well as gain confidence in your ability to positively impact the workplace.”
Tanya’s experience at Communitas was so positive that she would recommend the organization to anyone looking for work that serves others.
“I have such fond memories and am grateful for the time I spent with Communitas,” she says. “I hope anyone coming to Communitas may have the same enriching opportunities and experiences I had.”