Journeys in Community Living Human Resources Assistant Jackie Allman (sitting far left) and Executive Director Betty McNeely check employees in at the employee appreciation event held Sept. 12, 2013, in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
Local nonprofit Journeys in Community Living celebrated the hard work and dedication of its support staff over the past week as part of Direct Support Staff Recognition Week festivities.
Gov. Bill Haslam proclaimed Sept. 8 through Sept. 14 Direct Support Staff Recognition Week in honor of the men and women who work tirelessly at various provider agencies across the state to aid people with developmental disabilities.
Direct support staff are the people who work directly with individuals with disabilities in various roles, including aiding them with finding work, making healthy choices and in other aspects of everyday living.
The weeklong DSP week festivities were capped off on Thursday with a staff appreciation luncheon, which was hosted at The Experience Church on Old Salem Road in Murfreesboro.
Food was purchased from Jeff’s Restaurant on Hancock Street and served to employees by department heads, including Journeys Senior Executive Director Betty McNeely, who has headed the agency for more than 35 years.
Following the luncheon, McNeely said she was extremely proud and appreciative of the hard work employees put forth towards achieving Journeys’ goal of “supporting individuals with disabilities in in choosing and realizing their visions of where and how they want to live, work and socialize.”
Kat Garrett, a community day supervisor who has worked for Journeys in a support role for several years, said her job has given her a special appreciation of life in general.
“Working here is very humbling,” she said, adding that being a direct support staff member means that you are going to have a direct impact on someone’s day everyday. “Doing this job for any length of time will turn you into a better version of yourself.”
Rachel Burch said anyone interested in becoming a support staff member for Journeys can learn more by visiting www.journeysincommunity.org and clicking on the “employment” tab, or by calling her at 615-890-4389, ext. 17.
Qualifications include having a solid work ethic, a positive attitude and clean criminal history.
Various shifts, both full and part time, are available.
College students majoring in psychology, social work or other related fields will have the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience.
For more information, visit www.journeysincommunity.org.