To Be So Lucky: What It Means To Be A Community Living Lead Coach

Most of us at Hope Haven consider ourselves pretty fortunate to have found our place within this amazing organization. Whether we sought out our positions with purpose, found them by happy accident, or were pulled in by a higher calling, most of us have been blessed with job benefits that have exceeded our expectations. Lori Richardson, Certified Community Living Lead Coach, made time in her busy day to talk about what it means to work here.

“It is a privilege to support individuals I serve,” said Richardson, who has been a Hope Haven employee since 2007. “When I walk into this place, I get a warm welcome from our clients. It’s an honor to make a difference in their lives just like they have made a difference in mine.”

When her nephew was born with Down Syndrome, Richardson was determined to learn and be the best aunt she could be. She sought out Hope Haven, interviewed, and was hired. “From that day on,  I would receive the knowledge I needed,” she said. “And more heart tugs than I can count.”

Many years later, she was approached to become a Lead Coach, which she eventually accepted in October 2015. “This job takes loyalty, commitment, and dependability,” she adds. “It also takes a positive attitude, compassion, patience, and a willingness to learn. Fun and excitement are required. Laughter is necessary. And happiness is a natural byproduct.”

In her ten years with our organization, Richardson has learned a few things about herself and the people she serves. “You have to be an active participant. You need to work hard to build the skills that are necessary, and then you need to follow through, be professional, and value the work of the others on your team,” she said. “More than that, it’s important to understand our clients and meet them where they are—find their strengths, encourage growth in their weaknesses, accept their limitations. We all deserve to contribute and participate in our larger community. Some of us just need a little more help.”

Richardson goes on to say that improving the quality of life for others is one of her favorite parts of the job. She also enjoys the flexibility of being able to schedule work around my family and activities.