SOME a Washington Post Top Five Workplace

SOME is honored to be a 2015 Washington Post Top Workplace. SOME ranked as the #4 Top Midsize Workplace and also received a Standout Award for Purposeful Work.

SOME’s employees make the organization what it is, and I want to introduce one of our caring staff members, Emily Kavanaugh. Emily is the Manager of Kuehner House, SOME’s affordable housing program for homeless and low-income senior citizens. She is one of the many individuals who make SOME such a special place for our clients and for those of us who work here.

What do you like about working at SOME?
My favorite quote is, “Vocation is where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need,” and SOME has helped me figure out my vocation. I feel so grateful to play a small part of a big mission.

What attracts you to this type of work?
The aging population is so often neglected and overlooked in so many ways, but as the number of older adults in the US continues to increase, I find figuring out creative ways to help people age with dignity and respect to be incredibly attractive. The idea of aging-in-place and avoiding unnecessary institutionalizations by implementing supportive in-home services is incredibly important and it’s something I get to work towards on a daily basis!

Can you give an example of a resident you worked with who had a turning point? Mr. D was street homeless for at least a decade and was one of the first people to move in to Kuehner House. I knew that he needed supportive services, but I didn’t comprehend the scope of his needs until he moved in. He was chronically mentally ill and unaccustomed to living indoors. I soon learned that he did not know how to operate a microwave or a washing machine. One time he microwaved a can of soup… in the can!

Then we discovered that he was living with prostate cancer. These days, Mr. D is administered regular hormone injections to manage the prostate cancer, is delivered prepared meals, receives consistent psychiatric treatment, and he has home health care for four hours a day. Most importantly, Mr. D can be found contently sitting outside in the courtyard reading his bible for hours, stable and safe.

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