It’s National DSP Appreciation Week! Thank you for all you do each and every day! You are true heroes!

Providing services to adults with Autism and other disabilities so they can reach their fullest potential is at the heart of Esperanza’s ethos. This is achieved through Esperanza’s Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA), our residential program, and through our Coleridge Adult Day Program.

Esperanza’s three CILA homes are located in residential neighborhoods on the Northwest side of Chicago and provide additional supports to Esperanza’s adults with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities. 

“At our homes, we provide 24-hour, person-centered care to our residents,” explains Jen Brewer, Esperanza’s Director of Programs. “Our wonderful and hard-working CILA staff work to support our residents’ strengths and foster a family-like environment where they can improve their independent daily living skills while being integrated within the community.” 

Esperanza is responsible for providing and arranging all necessary services for those living in the CILA homes. And arranging these services means CILA Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) have to be dedicated and diligent to ensure those living in the CILA homes are receiving the best care. 

During the COVID-19 Stay at Home Order, the team even took extra precautions, adding a live-in component to the CILA program. The live-in model brought some peace of mind during uncertain times. Our top priority is the safety of our residents and staff, and this model allowed us to limit exposure of the virus to the greatest extent possible.

The passion and kindness our DSPs have for the residents and adult program participants foster a positive learning and home environment in which the residents thrive, and also help to create a successful and supportive program. 

Many of our CILA residents also attend our Coleridge Adult Day Program, where these life and vocational skills are further instilled. The dedicated Coleridge staff have organized and attended outings for residents in the past, such trips include going to the Children’s Museum and the Shedd Aquarium. These enriching experiences around the city provide authentic learning opportunities to practice their independent, daily living skills and to build confidence and self-awareness. 

“In both our CILA and Coleridge Programs, we have such great teams who tirelessly work around the clock to make sure our residents are safe, happy, and healthy. And not only is safety a priority, but the growth and progress of our adult participants are also at the heart of what our staff does each and every day. Our DSPs diligently work to ensure residents achieve their fullest potential. They deserve all the praise in the world for what they do!”

Joy Decker, Executive Director

And because of the remarkable staff in the homes and onsite in our Adult Day Program, our residents and participants have achieved independence, happiness, and a higher quality of life.