Community Resources for Independence (CRI is a nonprofit social service agency headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania. In a recent interview on the Talk Erie – Joel Natalie Show with Carl Barry, the Executive Director of CRI, shed light on the organization’s mission, its impact on the community, and the challenges it faces.
A Mission to Support Independence
CRI’s primary mission is to provide support services to individuals with disabilities, including those related to aging, accidents, illnesses, physical disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. They also offer support to veterans and provide a range of services through state waiver programs. These programs are designed to help people receive services in their own homes and communities, rather than being placed in nursing homes or institutions.
One of the key services provided by CRI is the Attendant Care Program. This program employs caregivers who assist individuals with disabilities in maintaining an independent lifestyle. Caregivers help with everyday tasks like feeding, bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and light housekeeping. Essentially, they serve as an extension of the client, enabling them to lead dignified and independent lives.
The Impact of Caregivers
The heart and soul of CRI lies in its dedicated caregivers, known as direct care professionals. These individuals play a vital role in helping those with disabilities lead fulfilling lives. CRI believes that these caregivers are doing extraordinary things to assist extraordinary people in achieving ordinary goals, like living independently and with dignity.
Challenges in the Industry
While the work of caregivers is invaluable, the industry faces significant challenges, particularly when it comes to funding and wages. Despite the rising demand for caregiving services, the rates paid to providers like CRI have not kept pace with inflation. This funding gap makes it difficult for providers to offer competitive wages to caregivers, leading to recruitment challenges.
Advocating for Change
CRI is actively advocating for change and working with local legislators to address the funding issue. They aim to ensure that some of the increased state funding actually reaches providers and their caregivers, who are on the front lines of care delivery.
A Rewarding Career Opportunity
For those considering a career at CRI, it’s more than just a job; it’s an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. If you have a passion for helping people with disabilities and enabling them to live independently and with dignity, CRI might be the place for you.
Join the CRI Team
If you’re interested in joining the CRI team, you can find job postings on our Careers Page. By becoming a part of CRI, you’ll be part of a community of individuals dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.
Community Resources for Independence is not just an organization; it’s a beacon of hope for individuals with disabilities, providing them with the support and care they need to lead fulfilling lives. If you’re looking for a career that allows you to make a difference, CRI might be the place where your passion and purpose intersect.