Behavioral Health Employment Feature Story
National Disability Awareness Month is a significant month for us here at PathPoint. This is a unique opportunity to highlight the local businesses, corporations and partners who truly make independent living a success for our individuals and communities.
These partnerships have encouraged growth, job opportunities and life skills for each participant involved. We are truly thankful for these relationships and would like to give you a glimpse of how local employers have changed both our participant’s lives as well as our communities for the better.
Today’s feature is a highlight from PathPoint’s Behavioral Health Division. Our Behavioral Health department has successfully provided employment connections for many individuals with personality and behavioral disorders. Because of these employment partnerships, many individuals have found freedom and a newfound sense of independence. These employment opportunities have created a full, balanced and rewarding life for many individuals with disabilities in Santa Barbara.
Marcus first started receiving services from PathPoint in 1985. Over the past thirty years, he has benefited from the multitude of services we provide including independent living skill building, symptom management, and job skill development.
When Marcus first came to PathPoint he participated in the Community Independent Living Program which provided extensive staff support to clients in their apartments. There Marcus learned tips from his staff on how to clean a home and how to cook for himself. “Every single thing I learned about living on my own has been from PathPoint,” described Marcus.
Marcus admits that his greatest challenge for him is managing stress. Seeing staff every week has significantly helped him learn stress management. “It keeps me in touch with the world. If I come across hardships, at least I have someone that is solid that I can talk to.” He says that when he experiences rough patches he talks it out with staff and uses their suggestions to determine what works and what doesn’t.
For over twenty years, Marcus worked on a PathPoint janitorial crew through the Santa Barbara Division that cleaned offices at the Santa Barbara County buildings. Since then, Behavioral Health’s Paths to Recovery program has since leapt at the opportunity to hire Marcus as their office janitor. Staff notes, “He has such a warm spirit. He has some of the best commentary on life. You can’t help but smile.” The feeling is mutual for Marcus who very much enjoys his position. “I get to socialize with staff. We laugh and chat.” He admits that his position has also had a broader impact on him. “It gets me out into the world. I don’t always have people to talk to. I socialize in the community before work and when I am done. The best part of the day is getting to go to work. I get to laugh.”
Marcus and his staff are proud of the enormous progress he has made. “I am getting stronger. Things that used to be hardships become easy. I feel like I’m making myself more of a full and whole person. At PathPoint, you really learn the skills for independent living and employment- even schooling. I learned a lot. I’m glad I am still with PathPoint.”