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Los clientes y los residentes en el Programa de Milestone de Bridgeport Thrive con Cuidado de Apoyo Especialista en Recuperación Robin Gagne

Robin Gagne es un especialista en soporte de recuperación (RSS) en el programa de Milestone es la conexión, el apoyo a la 15 Clientes de conexión que viven en los apartamentos completamente nuevos Milestone, a 30-unit housing development in Bridgeport’s East End. Milestone fue diseñado para adultos de bajos ingresos con necesidades especiales y con una particular preferencia para los veteranos.

“I’m here to provide support for the clients in the building and engage with them to help in goal setting and moving toward recovery,", Dice. “A big part of my job is to be an advocate for the clients—and for all veterans, including myself. Because we have the same background, I can relate to the things they’re going through—I’ve been there.”

For Robin, a typical day includes informal meetings with the clients, getting them to trust him and open up, to discuss what they did over the weekend and their plans for the day.

Robin Gagne de pie con la bandera en sala comunitaria de Milestone.

“Listening—really listening to them and having deep conversations that help with understanding what may be bothering them, que es realmente importante,", Dice. “So is supporting them with programs — AA, Estudio Bíblico, Veterans meeting — or just getting them off their beds. I do a lot of listening … making notes and entering information into the computer to provide a record of each time I see them. I also speak with the director — Helen Lavin — about the interactions, and individual needs and observations. The notes are a means for recording progress and concerns avoiding miscommunication. Having them helps me remember the interactions so I can go back and clarify — to be sure everyone’s concerns and needs are being addressed.”

De los 15 clients in the program, 10 are veterans. “Four to five are Navy, one is a Marine, and the rest are Army,", Dice. “No Coast Guard and no Air Force.”

Robin is an ideal RSS for these clients because he is himself a proud veteran, having retired from the Army in 2004 como un sargento primera clase, después 23 años de servicio. “Siempre he sido Estadounidenses,”Robin dice. “Empecé como médico de combate y trabajé en un hospital durante cuatro años. Cuando decidí que no quería ser enfermera que se convirtió en un asesor de carrera para la próxima 20 años."

Robin optó por retirarse en 2004 después 23 años de servicio. Después de que se retiró, Robin tenía dificultades para encontrar un lugar cómodo en el mundo civil. “Traté de construcción, y otros pocos ocupaciones, pero nada era cómoda,", Dice. Fue entonces cuando se decidió utilizar los beneficios de Veteranos para ir a la universidad y en 2009 graduated from Manchester Community College with an Associate’s degree in General Studies. He went on to Central Connecticut State University, graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

“I’m proud of being an American, and proud of being veteran,", Dice.

Robin’s experience in the army has informed the work that he does with the clients and residents at Milestone. His years as an Army career counselor give the perspective he needs to serve the diverse needs and backgrounds of clients in the program. His pride in and affinity for the Army drives a passion and loyalty toward citizenship and community that is completely engaging—and contagious. Clients and residents young and old love him.

One of the fun aspects of Robin’s job is planning community-building activities. These are sometimes client-only activities and sometimes building-wide activities. The building-wide activities include the 15 residents who are not part of The Connection’s program as well as the 140 niños en el programa Head Start administrado por Acción de Bridgeport

Subtítulo: Bandera Actividades día en Milestone.

Desarrollo comunitario (ABCD), ubicado en el primer piso del edificio Milestone. Las actividades están uniformemente bien recibidos y han creado un verdadero sentido de comunidad para los residentes y ocupantes de todas las edades.

En el día de la bandera, Robin y Danny, uno de los residentes del edificio, hizo una presentación a los niños en el programa Head Start. The two men went to each room in the Head Start program and told the children about the history and significance of the flag, the meaning of the stars and stripes, and meaning and significance of serving in the military. They also described the meaning and significance of the uniforms—down to the ribbons and medals! After the talks, Robin and Danny gave to each child a small flag and flag picture to color.

“Each month we’re going to be doing a reading for the kids,”Robin dice. “Many of the children lack male role models because their fathers and grandfathers are often incarcerated. We want the male residents to become big brothers—telling stories and teaching them all sorts of things. We’ve already started with teaching them how to fold pirate hats!"

Not all community-building activities are confined to the Milestone building! Robin loves planning excursions and has already taken the clients on a very successful fishing trip, as the pictures in this article attest. These trips are wonderful team building opportunities for the client-residents to plan activities that will appeal to everyone. The clients must consider such logistical issues as cost, transporte, and other details while making plans. Ideas for future trips include a Bridgeport Bluefish baseball game, a Thimble Islands cruise, a trip to West Point, the Boston Duck Tour, possibly the Basketball Hall of Fame in MA, and a visit to the Statue of Liberty. In order to realize these plans, the program needs support.

“I was hoping that some of these companies would further support our Veterans with donating to help reduce the costs,”Robin dice. “Donations are always welcome.”

“The one thing I set out to do every day is to be a real person the clients can talk to and engage with and trust,”Robin dice. “Beyond that, my goal is to build their pride back—and for the veterans their military pride—anything to get them back to themselves, to build them up as human beings and be confident in themselves and (text abruptly ends.)

Subtítulo: Case Manager Amber Hunter (left) and a client during the fishing trip.

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