Mainstream Living

Stories of Impact

Jeremy is a member who receives hourly services. His mother reports that growing up he was a loner who would take his toys into another room to play by himself. This did not change when he moved into an apartment, though he does enjoy playing video games. Recently, another family purchased a 5-bedroom home which opened up an opportunity for him to move to the new home while still receiving hourly services. We were hopeful this might help him develop friendships with his housemates. Although Jeremy isolated himself for the first few months, he is now getting out to try new activities, including visiting Reiman Gardens, going to Blank Park Zoo and walking around the Des Moines Botanical Center. Staff are also assisting Jeremy with planning a few activities to do each week with his housemates. 

Jeanne Baughman, a long-term staff passed away on Monday, August 12.  Jeanne began working for Mainstream as a Direct Support Professional in 2011 and has cared for many of our members throughout her years of service, often developing very close relationships and always teaching members to become more independent.  As an example, she helped Matt go from someone who couldn't clean his apartment and was in danger of losing housing to someone who independently cleans his home without much staff support. She helped Kyrie gain the confidence to live away from her mom, learn to cook and clean, and be happy and secure on her own.  Jeanne even helped her take some college courses for which she recognized by American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) recognized as the 2017 Direct Support Professional of the Year for Iowa. Jeanne was a person that our members and their families will truly miss, both as a staff and as a friend.
Erin lived in our medically fragile program in Ames since it opened in 2007. Over the past several years, her health deteriorated, but we continued to serve her, often needing to get an exception to policy because of the additional care she required. Sadly, Erin passed away on July 18th with her family surrounding her at Aspen House. Although this was very difficult for all of us, Mainstream proudly served Erin and her family. Included below is a segment of a letter from her family sharing their gratitude for our support and care of Erin over the years:

Dear Friends of Erin,

How do you show or tell someone that has taken care of your precious daughter for 13 years “Thank You”? There are no words and not enough money in the world to express the overwhleming appreciation we feel towards Mainstream Living and the individual people who have helped Erin, both directly and indirectly. You were there for her and provided the care, but more importantly the love and friendship that we all need. There are too many of you to name and I would hate to leave anyone out so we will just say a big thank you to you for your watchful eyes, professional help, silly songs, many clothing changes, respect, and most of all your friendship. You all do a job that at times seems without rewards, but our family wants you to know how grateful we are that you gave Erin a wonderful quality of life.

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