In September, Community Living Specialist Stephanie Poindexter received a call asking her to fill a last-minute shift. A woman supported by Mainstay’s Home and Community Services Department needed to be transported to urgent care due to an injury. Stephanie agreed to take the shift, and that is how she met Tia. The two women hit it off well, and soon after that day, Stephanie arranged to take on Tia’s case permanently.

During the months they worked together, Stephanie assisted Tia with scheduling several medical appointments and helped her to get her health on track. Along with supporting her medical needs, Stephanie reinforced Tia’s sense of self-worth by working with her to manage her finances, taking her to the hair salon, shopping for clothing, and providing attention and companionship.

Though Stephanie’s support had a positive influence on Tia’s quality of life, concerns continued to surface about her health and housing options. Tia expressed she wanted to move out of her current residence to a place that was more her own; her
self-determination spurred Stephanie into action. Feeling that Tia would benefit from 24-hour support, Stephanie worked closely with Mainstay colleagues and Tia’s Allegheny County Supports Coordinator to have Tia move into a Mainstay home.

Stephanie and the residential staff, including Nicole Taiwo, worked closely throughout the transition to make certain it was smooth and successful. Because of this, it did not take long for Tia to feel right at home. She recently gave a tour to the Community Services Managers, proudly showing them her new bedroom, and with the same enthusiasm, every single cupboard and drawer in the kitchen. Whenever anyone visits Tia, her vibrant smile wins them over immediately as she proudly shows off her new home. Tia has also grown close to her housemates and has taken a leadership role to help give assistance when she can.

With the support of staff from both Mainstay’s residential and community services programs, Tia has successfully transitioned and has made her new house her home! We at Mainstay are overjoyed to be able to provide varying levels of service for those in our care and to have found the perfect solution for Tia.