Home is Where the Heart Is

Robert Hornbeck lived in the small community of Manchester/Shortsville for many years, most recently in an efficiency apartment at his grand-nephew’s home. Robert enjoyed evening walks, local garage sales, and festivals. You could often find him browsing the aisles at the local grocery store and assisting with the shopping carts. Early this summer, Robert’s life changed dramatically when he suddenly lost his home and provider after his grand-nephew unexpectedly passed away. The crisis situation meant that Robert had time to collect only a few personal items before leaving everything behind.

Everyone on Robert’s team immediately stepped in to help him transition within a 24 hour time frame, obtaining services and supports, including State approval for emergency respite at our Highland residence. Both the staff and the residents of Highland welcomed Robert with open arms. Tammy Erick, Director of Residential and Community Hab Services, and Erin O’Brien, Robert’s service coordinator, worked together with his team to bring Robert to Highland and to set up plans for him to see a clinician for counseling, get prescriptions at CVS, and pick up clothes at his former home, while Elaine Hanagan, RN, ensured that Robert’s medical needs were attended to. Robert’s team also went out to purchase bedding items, and other living essentials so that he would feel at home and ready to start fresh.

They even made sure that baloney and cheese puffs, Robert’s favorites, were waiting for him at Highland. It was important to everyone that Robert felt welcome and secure.

Though emergency placement at our Highland residence was, as Robert called it, “temporary,” within a few weeks he met with his service coordinator and decided to call Highland his permanent home.

“Everyone cried the day Robert chose to stay,” says Tiffany Kobielski, Residential Manager at Highland and Jay Street and formerly Robert’s Habilitation Specialist at Ontario ARC’s seniors program. “We were so excited that he chose to stay at Highland, and so happy he is starting over in a new home, living and socializing with his peers. Robert is an amazing man and we are lucky to have him at Highland.”