Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Jersey Caregivers Struggle to Get By

This story hits the sad reality that the people who are entrusted with the care and safety of people with disabilities are hurting. The low wages are not just in New Jersey. It's throughout the country. If you want to learn more about these workers -- known as Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), I urge you to visit youneedtoknowme.org and get involved with the American Network for Community Options and Resources National Advocacy Campaign. We can't afford not to invest in DSPs.

Pat Faley is in charge of 74 supervisors and staff who care for nearly five dozen of the most physically needy individuals in New Jersey.
She has spent the past 12 years as the residential coordinator at the Spectrum for Living Intermediate Care Facility in Closter. All told, she’s worked in various supervisory jobs for more than 25 years at Spectrum, a non-profit organization that operates a variety of programs for the developmentally disabled.
Her compensation: $40,000 a year.
I have a second job, too, at Stop & Shop. I work eight hours a day here and then five there,” Faley said. “I couldn’t live on just what I make here. I’m 66, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to retire. I did not think I’d be working two jobs when I was 66. I’d like to be spending my time with my grandchildren.”

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