Direct Support Manager, Josh Hensley runs the Mosaic Meaningful Days program. His history with this agency goes back to 2002, prior to the Bethphage and Martin Lutheran Homes merger which brought forth the name Mosaic.
Josh described how he was first introduced to Bethphage.
“I had not worked in the field before but I had friends who did. I had been working in a warehouse but I wanted something more meaningful. I had friends in the field and thought it would be a good fit.
After I applied, I came and met the manager. We went to meet the person I would provide supports for, Willie Joe. He was around my age and needed a lot of assistance with hygiene. He was nonverbal and non-ambulatory. Coming in, I wasn’t quite sure I could do the work. But I tried and fell in love with the work we do. My life changed even more than the people I was supporting,” he said.
Josh is a musician and used his talents to create a bond with Willie Joe. He even wrote a song about his experience with Willie Joe. You can listen to a recording of that song, as well as read the lyrics by following the link at the end of this article.
“Willie and I connected with music. I would bring in my guitar and play music and sing. He loved it. His bed had netting because he would fall out, but when I played music he would pull himself up and fall over and laugh,” he said.
Josh has experienced many changes while working for Mosaic. He was a key player in starting the day program which led to his current position.
“I was involved in meetings and thinking about the potential and I started getting excited about it. I applied and got it. I got to plan and build the program which was pretty exciting for me,” he said.
Josh grew the day program to a current 26 participants and in 2013 Mosaic partnered with Hannah and Friends to start the second day program to serve people through private party and Medicaid waivers. There is currently 29 participants in that program. Josh is over both programs.
“It’s been really cool for me to see people grow and experience new things they’ve never done before. Arthur who passed away rode a horse for the first time. We’ve focused on volunteering and giving back which has been meaningful for participants. To see friendships and relationships grow out of the day program. Out at Hannah and Friends they were doing karaoke and everyone was excited to sing songs but it was cool to see them encouraging other people sing. “
I asked Josh what he likes best about working for Mosaic.
“Definitely the connection to the people we serve and watching their lives change for the better. No matter what’s going on in my life at the time or if I’m struggling and having a rough day, when I spend time with the people in day program, it makes it really tough to be down. No matter what I’m struggling with in my personal life,” he said.
To listen to the song, “Exactly” by Josh Hensley of The Rutabega, click the link below.