In the 22 years that Ida Shartner has worked for Communitas, she’s filled a variety of roles: she’s been a Support Worker, a Life Skills Worker, a manager of two homes, and most recently, a Home Share Coordinator. One of the things she appreciates about the organization is the opportunity to explore new things.
“I like a lot of diversity, so changing roles as often as I have keeps life interesting,” she says.
In that time, Ida has also learned a lot about the people she serves. Her different roles have allowed her to get to know people at a deeper level and this has shown her that the people she serves are people first.
There is so much more to know about a person than what is seen. Each person is unique. Some of the people that I have supported have turned out to be very influential in my life, giving more to me than I gave to them. – Ida, Home Share Coordinator
Ida enjoys her most recent role as a Home Share Coordinator. Home Share allows a person or a family to enrich their lives by opening their home to a person who lives with a developmental disability. Ida says this is a whole other level of care and she is often astonished at the commitment of these contracted caregivers.
“It’s the one service where you really include and embrace people in your life,” she says. “There is no going home after a shift, so a great deal of heart is required. I’ve witnessed so much love and sacrifice in our Home Share families.”
As a Christian, Ida is grateful for the opportunity to work for a faith-based organization that shares her values. She has learned a lot about herself through the years, discovering strength that she didn’t know she had.
“I’ve learned not to panic, that all things eventually work out,” she says with a smile. “I have learned to let go and let God, to depend on and trust God when things are out of my control.”
There is more to Ida than what is seen too. When she is not at work, Ida pursues a variety of creative activities. She loves to sew, quilt, and needle felt. Recently she took up painting and painted a portrait of each of her 11 grandchildren. Ida loves spending time with her family and she shares these creative pursuits with them, teaching them to sew and quilt.
At the end of the day, it is people who are most important in Ida’s life: her own family and the people and families she serves at Communitas.
“I love being part of something much larger than myself, supporting people and providing homes with families where they feel safe and loved. That is always the goal.”
When Adria reflects on her journey towards mental wellness, she recognizes that the journey began with a reconnection to her indigenous roots.
John and his daughter, Himali both work for Communitas. Though their work is in different settings, they’ve had the same meaningful career experience.