If participants couldn’t come to him, Casey Marques didn’t hesitate with a solution — he would go to them.
“When the pandemic started, we decided it wasn’t safe for people to come back in large group settings, so I started making house visits,” said Marques, Journeys program manager. “Close to 20 individuals have returned, but I’m still visiting 10-15 people individually each week.”
“Personally, I love doing the one-on-one sessions,” he continued. “You get to give them your undivided attention and they’re 100-percent committed to having you there working with them.”
Marques started out as a direct care staff member at Northeast Arc five years ago and became program director of the Journeys day program in early 2020. Journeys helps individuals develop the skills needed to access the community safely, become productive members of the community, and build and maintain employment and life skills.
“Some are looking for help with budgeting or exploring the community, and others might want help with something like going to the park to relax,” Marques said.
Journeys participant Danny Ramos, who has been in the program for 11 years, is a prime example of that.
“I like being able to visit different parts of Boston,” said Ramos. “And I like working towards my independence goals. Scheduling and budgeting have been a big focus for me.”