This is the eighth in a series of stories of a day in the life of a staff member at Ranch Ehrlo Society.
Louie Felicen is a multiple program worker (MPW) based at MacKay House. An MPW is an employee in our Group Living Services, who although has a home unit, also covers shifts in different programs as the need arises.
An MPW’s duties are to help and support the participants in their daily lives and to help them work through any of the issues they may be experiencing.
As an MPW, Louie might not know the staff or participants in the home so the first thing he does on shift is to read up on the participants to learn more about them. He then introduces himself to the participants when they arrive home.
From there he helps them with homework, chores, takes part in planned activities, helps them with challenges they are facing, or just hangs out with them while they need to relax. Regardless of the activity, all his interactions are meaningful. He sees a difference between engaging with the participants versus just supervising them.
“If you’re just supervising or watching someone playing basketball, for example, you could remark that the participant made a good shot. If you’re engaged with the participant, you can help him develop their skills and even challenge them to try and beat you in a game,” said Louie.
Variety makes it much more interesting
“I enjoy being an MPW because I get to see how the other programs run, and I get to meet many participants and staff. Each day can be totally different,” said Louie.
He thought he would prefer working with youth, but he has discovered that he enjoys working with adults too, so he likes working in both programs equally.
He said for anyone thinking about applying at Ranch Ehrlo to do it. “Ninety per cent of the time I think, ‘I can’t believe I get paid to do this’,” he said. “No other employer can compare to the Ranch in terms of salary. I am truly blessed to be working for the Ranch,” he said.
Louie values the training he has received at the Ranch.
“The training helps me to understand other perspectives, where the participants are coming from, and how trauma has affected their thinking and thus their behaviour,” he said.
Louie feels like he was meant to help people and that is the reason he is now at the Ranch.