Life Skills & Support – Celebrating Individuals and Families for 20 Years
Life Skills & Supports, a program of Rocky Mountain Human Services providing residential services, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary
Over 200 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
A diverse group of dedicated host home providers representing over 15 countries.
Dozens of committed family caregivers and program staff.
Six Colorado counties and numerous communities.
Tens of thousands of hours dedicated each month to supporting clients to have the resources necessary to achieve their goals.
These are all pieces of Life Skills & Support (LSS) a Rocky Mountain Human Services program that provides residential services and support to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program’s services include:
Helping families become paid caregivers to support and provide services to a loved one with an intellectual or developmental disability.
Providing support to adults who want to live on their own but need some extra help to make that a reality.
Connecting people with host home providers, who are highly qualified individuals who open their homes and provide services to people with disabilities.
Twenty years ago, LSS began its journey by offering residential services in several Denver-based group homes. At that time, Shari Repinski, current Executive Director of RMHS, was director of the newly formed program.
“I became the Residential Director in 2000 and during the next two years. I left the organization for a while and when I returned ten years later, I was excited that Life Skills and Support still had some of the same staff and many of the same customers as it did when it first started,” Shari said about the beginning of the program.
Many providers and clients have remained with LSS over time as it has adapted in order to offer the most stable and inclusive services possible. Today, 10 percent of people supported by LSS have been there since the beginning and 44 percent have been with LSS for ten or more years. This longevity extends to staff and providers and is truly a key component of the success LSS has seen over the years. It has fostered strong bonds between clients, families, providers and staff and created a true community dedicated to helping each person thrive. The average tenure of employees is 7.6 years and many LSS providers, like Lusy Resiwain, have been with LSS for over a decade.
“I have been a host home provider with LSS for 13 years and I choose and stay because they have a great team to work with. They have great resources and support and someone is always there to help you, to answer any questions and be there when needed,” Lusy said about Life Skills & Support.
Life Skills & Supports has seen growth and change over the years, but the sense of community and the commitment to the individuals and families has not changed.
“Over the years I’ve seen gradual change in the Life Skills and Support program through the elimination of group homes and the move toward community-based models of care. We believe that people can contribute to and be supported by their communities – It’s the right move,” said Shari Repinski.
By providing services that are grounded in excellence, compassion and innovation, LSS continues to support individuals and families in creating their future.
Throughout the month of November, we will celebrate this milestone by sharing stories from individuals, families and providers. On Nov. 13, long-time clients, their families, host home providers, and current and former staff will come together to celebrate the tight-knit community that has formed as a result Life Skills & Support’s work at an open house at Rocky Mountain Human Services.
To learn more about Life Skills & Support, visit www.rmhumanservices.org/lss.