Ethan’s story: Staff guide us toward independent, full lives

Ethan Bussiere is a self-advocate who spoke at the annual ARRM/MOHR Day at the Capitol March 15. Thanks to direct support […]

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Ethan Bussiere is a self-advocate who spoke at the annual ARRM/MOHR Day at the Capitol March 15. Thanks to direct support providers, he can live in an apartment with supportive services and hold a job.

Ethan BussiereMy name is Ethan Bussiere; I live at Opportunity Partners hoMEbase Westside, and I’m here to tell my story.

I live in my own one-bedroom apartment. I’m working on being more independent every day. I have great staff who are always close by if I need their help, or if I just need someone to chat with. Kelsi, a staff at hoMEbase Westside, she has been a welcoming presence. She is always there to help when she can, and you can talk to her about almost anything on your mind. She is an important staff at hoMEbase.

Great work experiences are sometimes a diamond in the rough. Meaning they are rare. I searched for weeks for the right job for me. Alanna Rice, job development specialist at Opportunity Partners, heard of Habitat for Humanity and that they had a job up for hire. After a short interview, I was picked for the job. I had four other candidates against me. So I was happily surprised when the call came that I was hired.

I was quite pleased to find Habitat for Humanity, which is such a friendly place to work.

There was a coworker who always had a welcoming smile every time I came by with my soap and rag. She always seemed genuinely curious about what happened during my weekend and how I was feeling. Seeing someone that friendly always puts a smile on my face.

One day last summer I had mentioned that I had never had a surprise birthday party just in casual conversation, not expecting anything. Then my birthday came along, and I had just finished my work shift, and someone told me to follow them. I was lead to the kitchen, and the whole staff group was together waiting for me to surprise me and sing me a happy birthday.

That was a day to remember!

My supervisor at work is very understanding of my needs, and they were helpful after I had my hand surgery. He made adjustments to help me do my job. I really appreciate all they do for me.

John Larson, my job coach at Opportunity Partners, has been beneficial in helping me with my needs at work. Usually, I am fine, and the meeting is quick, however, there are sometimes I didn’t know what to do, and he was there to help explain. Way to go John Larson!

The staff at Opportunity Partners helped to guide my way through the dark forest. When I am lost, they are there to guide me. When I am angry, they help find a reason. When I’m happy, they are there to share the joy. Without staff, we’d be lost, scared to move on. Staff are the glue that holds Opportunity Partners together. Don’t let us fall.



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