Crossroads has heroes too

Tammy Paetz helping Deb Reddick and Lori Burmeister with their hair.

MUSCATINE, Iowa– With our current pandemic, many have written about the heroes in our communities who put themselves at risk to ensure vital services continue. The most frequently mentioned include nurses and doctors, along with first responders. In our time of need, these people and others place personal concerns aside and continue to work and volunteer, ensuring everyone receives care.

Our community has a group you may not normally think of as heroes. Officially designated direct support professionals (DSP), organizations like Crossroads, Optimae, New Choices and others depend on them to provide essential care and support to community members in need. Crossroads provides services to clients here in Muscatine and in Tipton. Some of them provide personal care and supported living services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Others continue to work in different areas that provide support for Crossroads’ client-based services. Crossroads currently staffs four supported living locations between Muscatine and Tipton, and provides in-home services on a daily basis to clients living independently but needing assistance with daily living tasks.

As you know, hair care businesses remain closed based on the Governor’s order. One staff member, a licensed beautician, helped a few clients by trimming their hair in their homes, even coloring one client’s hair. Tammy Paetz works in a program called hourly supported community living, providing periodic services to those who do not need continual living support but who benefit from assistance on an intermittent basis. She saw the need for a few of the people receiving these services from Crossroads and willingly went above and beyond by providing hair care for them. This offers just one example of the more than 30 employees who continue to work for Crossroads to provide client services in Muscatine and Tipton.

Crossroads has served this community for over 50 years. Lots has changed since they opened in October 1969, and a lot will change as they resume services from the pandemic. Crossroads management staff continues to provide support for clients, staff and services in order to keep the organization running smoothly during troubling times. They focus on meeting the needs of clients and helping people (both staff and clients) reach their greatest potential.