This Team Drops Everything To Support People With Disabilities


When an individual with disabilities is in crisis and in need of help, KenCrest staff will go above and beyond the call of duty to help.

By Sydney Kerelo

Around noon on Friday, KenCrest's Director of Community Options for Region 2, William Garvin, received a call. A Delaware County Supervisor was hoping to get some support from Garvin and his team for an individual with disabilities who was in severe need—his mother and sole caretaker had fallen ill and was taken to the hospital. She was not given long to live, and her son had nowhere to go and no one to care for him.

"I got the call, and the person on the phone told me how bad his situation was. This individual was currently staying in a house that should've been condemned, and he had been living there taking care of his mom since the pandemic started. He does have disabilities and is higher functioning but still needs support," says Garvin. "I was like, 'give me a couple of minutes,' and started calling around to see if we could get him into a house, get a hospital bed for him because he has sleep apnea, and ensure that he could be cared for. The only other problem was getting him to the home, so I said I would pick him up myself."

Garvin got in his truck and immediately drove over to his house. When he arrived, everyone talked about what was best for this individual, but no one was talking to him. So, Garvin pulled him aside and asked how he felt, reminding him he wasn't alone. Even though this situation is scary, he has support.

He immediately brightened up and began smiling; he knew he had someone who wanted the best for him, and the difference showed. He went shy and scared when Garvin walked into the happy-go-lucky person he was at heart.

"Once it was time to leave, he was still hesitant," says Garvin. "I've worked with individuals with disabilities for so long now that I understood why he was hesitant and that he is most likely feeling like his choices are being taken from him. And I didn't want that. So, I asked if I could take his bag to my truck, and when we got to my truck, I asked if he wanted to sit in the back or the front, what music he wanted to listen to, and asked him stories about his life."


"It's a Friday afternoon. My staff could have planned dinner dates or activities but dropped everything to be there for this person. Dinners and weekend plans can be rescheduled, but this person's life can't. He matters most."

William Garvin, Director of Community Options for Region 2

Garvin gave this individual back his ability to choose and comforted him by telling him about every street and turn they would make on the journey to the community living home. From Downington to Newtown Square, the duo talked about everything from growing up to songs on the radio.

The individual was instantly enthralled as Garvin's truck pulled into the Newtown Square home's driveway. Walking through the front doors, he was in awe of the space and the fact that he had a TV in his room with a private bathroom.

"He said, 'This is all mine?' and I was like, yes, it is if you want to stay here," says Garvin. With a smile, he wandered around the room for a bit before entering the living area and meeting the three other individuals who lived there. Within minutes, he became a part of that family, talking with them as if they had known each other their whole lives.


While Garvin was picking up this individual, Courtney Hemmingway, the assistant director for residential and the program manager, helped to set up the community living home. Because this individual does have seizures on occasion, the nurse on shift that night, Genevieve, came into the house to instill protocols for the staff in case one happens. They had dinner, which was still cooking in the kitchen, making him feel welcome. They showed this individual what it means to live at a KenCrest home.

"It's a Friday afternoon. My staff could have planned dinner dates or activities but dropped everything to be there for this person. Dinners and weekend plans can be rescheduled, but this person's life can't. He matters most, and to have a team that will go above and beyond and drop everything to be there when someone is in need is incredible."

This individual is still determining if he will remain at this KenCrest home, even though the team and residents love having him there. He wants to explore his options, and KenCrest is helping to make that happen.