Residents, Staff Live Together During Pandemic at the Point Arc's Egan House
Residents and workers are living together at the Point Arc's home in Woodlawn, and have done so since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
According to Daniel Blackwell, 43, the Egan House has only become a better experience over the past couple of months.
“I love (having them here),” Blackwell said, referring to Bob Adams and Tiffany Williams. “They are my family. They are here when I need them.”
Adams and Williams moved in as statewide lockdown was instituted more than a month ago by Gov. Andy Beshear.
“What we’re doing comes from the heart,” said Adams, who has worked with the Point for seven years. “Our residents are some of the most vulnerable during this virus. We’ve left our families behind to be with them 24-7 and it’s been well worth it. Everyone is safe. Everyone is also in good spirits.”
The Point Arc of Northern Kentucky provides many services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization’s largest program is residential homes for adults who have intellectual developmental disabilities. The Point’s residents live independently in these homes but have staff come in to help them with various things like medication, cleaning, dinner etc.
Several staff members signed up to be live-in staff to be sure that residents were not exposed to additional germs due to rotating shifts. Many of these residents have underlying health conditions and are extra vulnerable to catching the virus.
“Our staff is our backbone and really, it’s no surprise that they would do this for our residents,” said Tammy Gannon, the Point’s residential administrator. “Our main goal is to keep our folks as safe as we can.”
Gannon said the live-in staff members gave up Easter and time with family these last few months.
“I’m just in awe of what they’re doing for our folks,” Gannon said. “Our staff are good and loving people. I always knew they were good, but until Covid-19, I didn’t know how great they really are. The people who work here aren’t there because it’s their job, but because it’s their calling – to protect and care for our folks.”
Tiffany Williams, who volunteered to be a live-in staff member said she misses her family, but that she and they understand her dedication to those she serves.
“We’re all pulling together – the Point staff, our families and those we serve,” Williams said. “We’re a team and we’re getting through this crisis together.”
Bob Adams, who also volunteered to be a live-in staff member, said he and Williams are keeping the Egan House residents active while they’ve been stuck inside.
“We play games, take walks, watch movies – anything we can do to keep our residents active and in good spirits. I’ve really loved doing this. Those I serve are my family, there’s no other way to sum it up better than that. At The Point, we’re here for our clients no matter the cost. We want them safe and sound.”
Written by Melissa Reinert, RCN contributor