HMEA Program: Residential Services
Job Title: House Manager
Number of Years in Current Role:
Less than one year
Number of Years with HMEA:
Meet Angie Leber! Angie manages a great group of individuals at one of our residential homes. Angie joined us in 2016 as a Direct Support Professional and was recently promoted to the House Manager position. We spoke with Angie to learn more about her journey at HMEA.
What was your career like prior to working at HMEA?
I’ve worked in human services for 13 years, and I’ve also spent a lot of that time working with children. In addition to being a Girl Scout leader and softball coach, I was an ABA therapist for 5 1/2 years for the public school system in Webster, MA while my children were young. I loved that job, but I wanted to experience what it was like working with adults, so I took on a new role in a day services program at another agency. I worked there for 3 1/2 years.
The program went through some management changes I didn’t agree with, so I left and took on a new position at Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s where I was immediately prior to working at HMEA.
How did you get started at HMEA?
While working at Dunkin’s, one of my regular customers knew about my previous job, and they told me about an HMEA job fair in Millbury. I went to the job fair and was hired on the spot, and I have been at Liberty Lane ever since.
Describe a typical day in your role.
I start my day by making it a point to say good morning to all of the individuals I support. Then, I turn on my computer and start answering my emails and taking care of my daily tasks. On some days, I’ll do direct care in-between administrative tasks. On other days, I might need to take individuals to doctor’s appointments or handle mostly computer work. Regardless, I always take a break and sit with the individuals and my staff at lunch.
What’s your favorite part about your role?
My favorite parts about my role are the individuals I support and the days I get to do direct care. Being able to spend the day with them and advocate for them is the reason I do what I do.
What are you most proud of during your time at HMEA?
I’m most proud of being able to further my career and experience in the field I love. I can share my experience with my staff, both old and new. I’m also proud of the relationships I have made with the individuals, their families, and my team.
What has HMEA done to support your development?
HMEA has been so supportive over the years, including in my new role. If I have questions or problems, there’s always someone to help me with an answer or a solution. When I first started at HMEA, my husband passed away. I hadn’t even made it to 90 days. My manager, assistant manager, and Regional Coordinator let me take as much time as I needed. They checked up on me and made sure I knew I had a support system and a job to come back to. The people at HMEA have always been so friendly and supportive. It’s like being part of a very, very large family.
What advice do you have for those who want to work with individuals who have disabilities?
This is not always an easy job, but it IS one of the most rewarding jobs. Nobody tells you how much you are going to love it, or how much you are going to care for the individuals you support and the staff you work with. Stick it out through the rough patches because the outcomes will be worth it. In this field, the individuals that we support see too many new faces, so it’s great when the new faces become familiar faces and stick around.