Made to Measure
A tailor-made piece of clothing is special. It allows you to move with ease and confidence. It fits so perfectly that you come back to it again and again for the sheer pleasure of wearing it. The same might be said for the perfect job – at least that’s how Angela Poulton feels about her work at Communitas.
“I love my job,” she says. “I feel like I am doing what I was put on this earth to do. I have never wanted to do anything else.”
Angela has always loved working with people. As a teenager, she volunteered in the resource rooms and with SKY clubs at school. She also volunteered at the hospital for years.
“I think volunteering at the hospital is what made me want to work with people,” she says. “So when I graduated from high school, I took the Residential Care program at college.”
One of her first jobs was working in a foster home where she met Jeff, one of the youth who lived in the home. When Jeff and his brother were moved into a new home under the care of Communitas, Angela was asked if she’d consider continuing to work with them in this context. She did and has been with Communitas ever since.
Angela gets joy from working with the residents, helping them with their needs so that they can live a full life. Her extensive experience working with those who live with disabilities has proven to her that just because someone needs help with their daily living does not make them less than human.
“Everyone is a person. Everyone has feelings, goals, likes and loves,” she says. “We are all the same when it comes right down to it, some of us just need a little extra help.”
Elaine Moore is the Communitas program director who oversees the home where Angela serves. Elaine used to be the manager here and has worked with Angela for several years. She has seen first-hand how Angela lives out her values.
“Angela has a passionate connection to the people she supports and she champions their needs,” Elaine says. “She ensures that the people in her care are happy, healthy and loved. Her love for those entrusted to her care is evident.
Her work is not without its challenges but Angela takes these in stride. She recently became the manager of the residence where she has worked for years and has found the change in role to be a learning experience.
“Now I see the other side of what is needed to keep all the residents happy and healthy,” she says, adding that there’s more paperwork involved in this role as well.
She appreciates the support she receives whenever she needs it and although she doesn’t get the same amount of interaction with the gentlemen who live in the home as she used to, when she does get to do a hands-on shift, she is grateful.
“It feels like a gift.”
Elaine also loves working in this field and like Angela, says the rewards outweigh the challenges. To anyone considering a job working with those who live with developmental disabilities, Elaine says “take the leap.”
“You will never regret opening your heart to a group of people who will unequivocally welcome you into their home and into their lives,” she says. “Ending each day knowing, I mean really knowing, that you have made a difference, a change, an improvement in someone’s life is incomparable.”