Meet Bill Stanley, our Director of Developmental Disabilities Services.
Growing up in Southwest Baltimore, Bill admired the work his father did as a Baltimore City police officer, especially his last assignment as a community relations officer in the area where the family lived.
“Watching the work and impact he had in our community inspired me to really engage in work to help people in some shape or form,” Bill said.
That desire to help people led Bill to Humanim more than 30 years ago, when he began work at the Gerwig building in Columbia as a rehabilitation associate in the development disabilities program. He stayed with Humanim for about 25 years, rising through the ranks, before leaving in 2018 to work as a consultant supporting a range of providers working with people with developmental disabilities.
Earlier this year he came back to Humanim as director, returning to the same Gerwig building he began working in fresh out of college in 1992, where he oversees Humanim’s three programs that provide meaningful daytime activities to people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
When he’s not working, Bill is an avid gardener, tending to three raised beds filled with greens, herbs, heirloom tomatoes and more.
He and his partner also make an annual trek to New Orleans for JazzFest, a two-week celebration of diverse music, culture and food. “I love all kinds of music, and going to that festival every year is a huge tradition,” he said. Some special memories include delicious servings of catfish almondine and a set at this year’s festival by Mumford and Sons.
Bill has touched many lives at Humanim over the years. One who stands out was a woman named Mary, who in her 60s was living at Springfield State Hospital in Sykesville where Bill worked in transition services. Mary hadn’t left the Springfield campus in more than 10 years and Bill was determined to help her venture out to experience new things.
“I was able to build a good trusting relationship with her to the point I was able to take her on her first outing off the grounds of Springfield – to a flower store. I just remember her smile when I was taking her through the shop. She was so overjoyed being able to smell flowers and interact with people in the store. It was a huge life-changing moment for her.
“It was a real process to build the rapport and the trust where she felt safe with me to be able to leave the hospital,” he added.
That outing to a flower store was a major step that led to Mary eventually moving into a community residential setting. And it’s the kind of moment that Bill values in his role at Humanim.
“The biggest thing for me at work is trying to find ways to help people lead a good quality life at the end of the day. Looking at the human condition overall, I like to be able to help people lead a good life. I just take satisfaction knowing I can make a difference and have some impact in the lives of the people we work with.”