We want to recognize and congratulate Support Inc. Residential Coordinator, Richard Shaw, and Host Home Providers, Diana and Kenny Wijaya, for their amazing work. They were recently honored by Kirk of Bonnie Brae UCC.
From: Vicki Wright and Ann Karlberg, Guardian designees for Kirk of Bonnie Brae UCC.
For the past 38 years, the Kirk of Bonnie Brae UCC has served as the legal guardian for Dean McEahern who receives Support Inc. services. The mission of the church was initiated by a passionate member of our congregation, Carol Rickus, who was called to be God’s servant to the developmentally disabled. Through her activism, Carol inspired the Kirk to become the legal guardian for Dean, who at the time, was only 19 years old, without a family to advocate for him and dependent on the system for his every need.
Ann- Fortunately, Dean began receiving services through Support, Inc., an agency that provides comprehensive community-based services including residential care, a day program and clinical services. His residential program coordinator, Richard Shaw, has worked with Dean for 18 years. Richard’s consistent and dedicated oversight of Dean’s services has provided Dean with the stability he has needed to really thrive. In addition to the excellent residential care Dean receives, his life is enriched through the experiences and opportunities available to him through Support, Inc.’s fine day program. Richard has been instrumental in making sure Dean has received all the resources needed to ensure the best quality of life. We are so grateful to Richard for his devoted service.
Vicki- To tell you a little bit about Diana and Kenny, some of the most compassionate Host Home Providers/caregivers we have come across in all our many years in social work. They are Indonesian by birth and came to the US in the early 2000s when Indonesia was ridding itself of Christians and other non-Muslims. As refugees, they were dependent upon Indonesian friends who came before them. They came to Florida, Virginia, then Denver, where they were told economic conditions were better. Their network in Denver suggested that Diana apply to be a host home provider, as she was new to the community and pregnant at the time. So here they are, 20 years down the road, with 3 disabled adults living in their home, and Dean has been with them for 15 years. They puree his food, feed him, thicken his water so he can drink, help him drink, even had adjustments made to their shower so they can keep him clean more easily. And I think this is Kenny’s favorite part—they take him on vacation and to local events such as Red Rocks.
The Kirk is proud of its guardianship ministry, but we couldn’t do it without the partnership of Support, Inc. and the devoted service of Richard Shaw and Diana and Kenny Wijaya. Their committed efforts have been crucial to Dean’s well-being and very much a part of this ministry. On May 21st, all three were honored for their work with a certificate of appreciation from the congregation. Congratulations Richard, Diana and Kenny!!