Based on the well-known photoblog & movement, Humans of New York, Humans of Humanim is a feature created to highlight the stories and lives of those who make up #TeamHumanim.
Meet Erica, our Director of Community Integration Services, who has been with us for two years. Erica’s multi-faceted role includes oversight of the Personal Supports Program and the admission process within our Developmental Disabilities division.
Erica also leads Therapeutic Behavior Services (TBS), a new program that provides in-home care and support for youth under the age of 21 who have been diagnosed with a mental health challenge or developmental disability. The services are designed to support children who are at risk for a higher level of care without intervention. TBS focuses on helping youth and their caregivers manage challenging behaviors. Through this program, we can assist a child during a transition home from hospitalization or an out-of-home placement.
Erica enjoys celebrating milestone moments with program participants when they accomplish personal goals or try new activities. She appreciates the freedom Humanim gives her to be creative in how she structures programs. During DSP Recognition Week last September, Erica hosted a ‘90s-themed cookout and car wash to show appreciation for DSPs in Personal Supports. “No one is pushing down on me for being my authentic self,” she said.
Erica strongly believes in advocating for her staff and program participants. “If there’s something I believe in, or my staff and individuals believe in, then I’m going to support them until I can’t anymore,” she said. “Even now, as a director, I’m not above doing some direct care and I always want my staff to know that.”
As a mother of a young child, Erica values the support she receives from her supervisor. “I’m seen as more than just a staff member. If something happens, I feel like someone actually cares.”
Outside of work, Erica enjoys hanging out with her 2-year-old son at the park and playground and is a big supporter of her family. She likes to read autobiographies and has read the stories of Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, and Viola Davis. Erica describes herself as a foodie. Cooking and baking are two of her favorite activities. Last Thanksgiving, she made a sweet potato cheesecake that her family absolutely loved!