In this blog, Direct Support Professional (DSP) Dante shares his firsthand account of working at Hope Haven and why he loves his job.
I’ve been working with these four awesome guys since August 2018. Previous to starting with Hope Haven, I had been working construction jobs. I was pouring concrete for a while, then I was traveling and building grain bins around the country. We even got to go to California for a couple months, but it still wasn’t really what I was looking for. Later, I found out from my Mom that Hope Haven was looking for help. I thought that it might be a positive change for me, and a new experience with a different kind of work from what I was used to, more fulfilling maybe.
So, I applied. I have always tried to be an open and understanding person, and I thought those skills would help me as a new Direct Support Professional. I started out in August, and boy, I was nervous. But, I caught on soon enough and had the joy of getting to know Eric, Wayne, Dylan, and Jeremy. It has been very wholesome for me, working with the guys has been a learning experience. I’ve learned that being personable is more important than being demanding, and that those snickers commercials are true; ‘You’re not you, when you’re hungry!' Sometimes a snack is all it takes to turn a crabby guy into a happy guy.
My favorite part of my job has got to be the evening walks we’ll take on the weekends and shoot hoops at the park. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though! The hardest part of this job for me is calming them down when they are upset and angry. Sometimes all it takes is a little conversation talking through what they are upset about. Our days can bring a lot of surprises, but I always find time for spinning Eric around in his chair and getting some laughs out of him! Eric has taught me that it doesn’t need to take much to be happy!
My advice to a new team member would be to always be open, show the people you're working with that you respect their choices and what they think, and they will give it right back. It has worked for me, and I think that the guys and I have not only a good working relationship, but a great friendship as well. I also get to work with some of the most helpful and kind staff. I’m glad to be a part of Hope Haven!