By Kristi Doan
Community Builder, The Eden Alternative
Frost happens, as we say at The Eden Alternative. It’s inevitable. Whether the pause on person-directed care is from change fatigue, new leadership, or a global pandemic, almost every organization has slowed down or taken a step back at some point. The important thing is to regroup, refocus, and renew the energy towards making changes and building cultures of care that are at their core person focused, supportive, and united in a mission and vision.
I had the honor of spending a week with 16 amazing humans from Parker in New Jersey along with my teammate, Kris Angevine, in mid-October. Parker has been associated with The Eden Alternative since 1998 and now has 4 communities that have earned Growth Membership and 1 community that is starting their Eden journey as a General Member.
It was a pleasure getting to know each of the individuals and to see them lean into uncomfortableness and personal growth. The Certified Eden Educator Training is five days of self-exploration, receiving and giving feedback, facing fears, laughing, and growing.
Everyone who came together to learn how to be an Eden Educator brought the intention to warm the frost of their communities, to refocus on driving out institutional creep, to create true home, and to support partnering in care in whatever setting they are in. The passion for their larger community and intergenerational connections that they expressed was inspiring!
As always, Kris and I learned as much from the Parker team as they did from us and that’s why this class is one of my favorites to facilitate. The difference that this team of people will make not only at Parker, but in their own larger communities, lightens my heart and I know that together we are making a difference in this world.