At the bottom of the page (click here) is the digital version of our Newsletter. We have also included the articles in this blog for universal text access.
Accessible Articles below:
BECKY'S CORNER - A note from our Director
My mother kept a garden, A garden of the heart; She planted all the good things that gave my life its start. I am my mother's garden. I am her legacy. I hope today she feels the love reflected back from me.
May is the month that holds Mother's Day within it and the verse I am sharing above seems appropriate for honoring each of our Mothers. We all have one thing in common–we all have a Mom. It is worth noting that May is not the only month we can honor our mothers and hopefully we do that regularly. A mother is our first friend, our best friend and our forever friend when we are fortunate enough to have been blessed with an amazing Mom. Take a moment at least 1-2 times a week to call your Mom and tell her you love her and ask if there is anything she needs and your relationship with your mother will be full of happiness, laughter and smiles. Oh there will be sadness and tears also but facing it together with your mom is far better than being alone with the sadness. We are never truly alone on this planet even if our Mothers are gone from earthly view. They are always with us, I believe. Do you feel your mother's presence when you think of her or speak to her in your heart? I hope so because it is the most comforting experience that I have ever had. Having a mother wrap her arms around you and tighten the hug is one of the most secure and enlightening things that can happen.
"When your mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it's a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway." -Erma Bombeck
May is also the month when children get out of school and Summer begins for many families. The months of Summer are days and nights that children and adults alike look forward to enjoying. June through September we see more time off requests than throughout the rest of the year. For all of us here at Harbor, Summer means Big Sur camping(please check out our gofundme campaign for this event) , fireworks, baseball games, swimming, family time, friend time and beautiful weather. It is so important that as Direct Support Professionals we communicate and make arrangements for time away from work and from the stressors of taking care of everyone else. The work we do is admirable and we do it well but we have to consider our own need for self care and honor that very personal need. If we do not care for ourselves then everything can suffer—work quality, life quality, relationship quality, health quality, etc. What do you do for yourself for self-care? We do ask this question in employment interviews with potential staff and I am always encouraged when the answer comes quickly and assertively to that question. I am often impressed with the answers–yoga, hiking, surfing, reading, spending time with my significant other, meditation, long car rides and many more practices come to light. Maybe make a list for yourself about the most effective stress reducing, happiness producing things you do for YOU!! Be honest with yourself and maybe even rate them in order of which are most effective. And always remember…………
"Don't ever be ashamed of loving the strange things that make your weird little heart happy." -Elizabeth Gilbert
Happy Days to Each and every one of you,
SPOTLIGHTS FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE
I have known Ali for 10 years. First I was his support staff then I became his lead staff and now I am his housemate. We have grown together over the years. We have become close like family. I have seen a huge positive change in Ali in the past ten years. He is doing stuff that he didn’t do before and being more open to trying new things. Ali likes being out in the sun and waving to people as they walk or drive by.
My time with Ali is usually pretty chill. Sometimes we go for a drive or we just stand outside and for the most part we have a good time. I Appreciate when he throws the ball around with Cylus my dog. Alikan can be affectionate when he's in a good mood. He enjoys car rides, has a strong bond with Gilbert.
Ali enjoys being outside and it's nice being outside with him when the weather is good. He has the best smile and gives the biggest hugs. Ali is such a sweet guy! Witnessing him grow in his confidence and comfort with his team over the past few years has been really amazing. He has been through some challenging times, and I am just so thrilled to see him happy and healthy. He enjoys talking to Fafa (his dad) every day. And it brightens his day and everyone else around him. Ali is just a big bundle of joy.
Patient, kind and reliable are a few words that come to my mind immediately to describe Gilbert. His relationship and dedication to Alikan is extremely humbling - he always assures Ali's and his team's needs are met and supports him in any way he can. His thoughtful, caring personality has always shined through and shows in the way he cares for Ali Kan. I really appreciate that regardless of circumstance Gilbert always finds a way to make sure Ali Kan is taken care of. Gilbert is an awesome coworker. I can tell the love and compassion he has for his housemate. Gilbert is a person you can always count on. He is kind and giving,a good cook, and has a strong bond with Ali. Good sense of humor. Has an awesome dog, and daughter, and he is good and friendly to my dog.
Over the past couple of years I have built a relationship with Gilbert, and we work really well together. I have loved witnessing Gilbert's growth as a lead staff over these past years, and look forward to seeing the life he has created continue to flourish. Thank you Gilbert for being an awesome human being and we are so happy to have him as part of the Harbor family!Gilbert has been an amazing individual to work with.
MASCOTS OF THE MONTH
Aubrey's Pack - Milly, Shea, & Thea
Q: What is your pet's favorite treat?
A: Shea (Kitty): Temptations and bugs. Thea (brown dog): Cheese & milk bones. Milly (Blonde doggy): Chicken.
Q:Do you spoil your pets? In what way?
A: I buy them things any time I am anywhere that has stuff for animals. I celebrate their birthdays and get them all the top notch treats and toys.
Q: If your pet could talk, what would they say?
A: Shea: Feeed meeeee Thea: I know I’m cute Milly: Can I kiss you?
Q: Do any of your pets have annoying habits that you can’t break them of?
A: Thea barks at everyone, Shea meows at all hours of the day for food, and Milly is an aggressive lover with her kisses
Q: How old are your pets?
A: Shea is 6, Thea is 2, and Milly is 5.
Q: When did you get your fur baby, how old were they?
A: I got them all when they were itty bitty babies. I have had Thea since her birth.
Q: Do any of your animals have amusing traits that are particular to them?
A: Thea loves water and will carry the hose around the backyard and water it, Milly watches full movies and tv shows with a particular interest in other animals and human babies, Shea likes to gently hit us with her paw as she walks by
Q: How do your pets react to strangers in the yard? at the door? in the house?
A: The dogs bark but Thea thinks she’s a guard dog and Milly just wants to attack people with love!
NEW FACES - Welcome to the family
Harbor would like to formally introduce Megan Oatey! Megan is a very social person that is also caring who really enjoys practicing and perfecting her musical skills as she also holds a music class for Harbor as well. She also enjoys painting with acrylics and gardening. On her times away from her hobbies she enjoys spending time with her family. Welcome to Harbor Megan!
We would like to formally introduce Mitchell Reyes to Harbor. Mitchell is generally shy but once he gets to know you will open up. Mitchell enjoys watching basketball and football. Mitchell’s favorite team are Golden State Warriors and the 49ers. Mitchell mainly enjoys hanging out with his family and friends. Mitchell also enjoys working at New Leaf. Welcome to Harbor Mitchell!
SPECIAL REPORT- Susie Married Herself!
A Beautiful Expression of Self Love
Everyone among the Harbor community knows Susie Williams, a long time supported compatriot. Those who know Susie also know she is full of positivity and strength, as represented by her recent expression, “I don’t need a man! I can marry myself!” And so in February of 2023, she did in fact marry herself as an expression of self love and celebration. On her special day, Susie was surrounded by friends from many parts of her life including the Harbor community, the START behavioral support program, and even her family in Hawaii via video conference. Susie made her dream come true, as her brother Scott even stated that “ getting married is something Susie always wanted since she was little.”
Susie had a wonderful time getting ready for her big day with the help of her friends, and it was filled with all the traditional moments a bride experiences. As one of her wedding guests and support staff Edith Martell stated, “It is fulfilling seeing [Susie] excited and glowing not just when planning for the big day but getting a face mask, make up, manicure and a hair-do made her glow and smile as I have never seen her before.” Crystal Hernandez, one of Susie’s friends and supporters who assisted in the preparation said “We all helped her dream come true in such a short time. It was nice to see how much she is loved by those who came to support her.”
Michelle Honey, a START program coordinator and a wedding guest, observed the following about Susie’s ceremony: “In a beautiful dress, with flowers in her hair … Susie had her wedding. Susie was glowing, with a smile from ear to ear. It truly showcased how Susie's reality is not only being supported, but celebrated!"
Mary Smith, Susie’s close friend and facilitator, eloquently expressed the sentiment of the day; “Susie's wedding was a beautiful representation of the incredible things that can blossom when we step into the reality of the people we support, and make their dreams come true. It brought so much joy to my heart witnessing Susie laugh, smile and express herself in this way she has desired for quite some time. And what a beautiful token of self love it was! “ Congratulations Mrs. Susie Williams, from the entire Harbor community!!!
Reported by Andrea Smith, written with contributions by Mary Smith, Edith Martell, Crystal Hernandez and Michelle Honey
We are quickly approaching our annual camping trip to Fernwood Resort at Big Sur on August 24th- August 29th.
In times of rising costs of food and activities, we have created (led by Shanie Lane, Facilitator at Harbor SLS). a gofundme account to assist people from Harbor Supported Living Services to afford the trip.
We want to be creative so that every person who wants to attend can afford to do so. All money raised will be used directly for camping expenses —food, camp shirts, activities,supplies, campsites and cabins.
Any generosity of any amount is greatly appreciated!! You could additionally help by sharing this message with people you know who might also want to help— social media share or personalized texts with the link can be effective. We appreciate you considering this very important campaign to assist people on limited incomes to enjoy the beauty of Big Sur and the company of friends while they exercise, eat great food, swim in the river, tie dye shirts, hike, do arts and crafts and just generally relax in nature. Please open the link and be acquainted more with what we do. Use the link below and please help if you are able.
If you would like to donate you can use this link to access our GoFundMe or you can write a check and send it to the office :)
Santana Alston: 5/4
Crystal Hernandez: 5/5
Yesenia Morelos-Delgado: 5/11
Kyle Eaton: 5/13
Felix Vayssieres: 5/20
Jessica May: 5/21
Sofia Perez: 5/27
Bobby Rodriguez: 5/28
Cassie Bos: 5/30
Jennifer Escobedo: 5/30
Yolanda Martinez: 5/30
Virginia Burnett- 6/1
Emily Lomax- 6/1
Terah Polockow- 6/2
Jesse Dreyer- 6/18
Alejandra Sanchez- 6/26
Susie Williams- 6/26
Andrea Smith- 6/27
Kai Hamill- 6/28
Edith Martell-6 /30
Sheridan Smith 5/2- 1 year
Terah Poloclow; 6/16- 1 year
Jasmine Orozco-Nava; 6/1- 2 yrs
Yesenia Morelos-Delgado; 6/12- 2 yrs
Cassie Bos;6/17- 7 yrs
Wendy Baker; 6/25- 8 yrs
Maria Garica; 6/11- 20 YEARS