Charles is Colorado State DSP of the Year 2024 Winner!

Charles Mathis, Employment Consultant with Continuum of Colorado was named ANCOR’s Colorado State DSP of the Year 2024!
Charles celebrated winning this prestigious award at ANCOR’s National Conference in April. Here is the nomination that was submitted:
Charles has been an Employment Consultant with Continuum of Colorado for almost 3 years. He is always open to learning and over the past year has shaken up his approach to job development and job coaching. Charles has attended every APSE training course (not a requirement of his position) offered and decided to get certified in Discovery and Customized Job Development. During the year, he completed his classroom requirements and is in the early stages of his practical portion. This certification will allow Charles to continue the work he already does so well, but with people who need a more unique approach to their employment journey.

Charles recently helped cover job coaching for an individual on another EC’s caseload. The EC was going on vacation and had recently placed the individual in a new job right before her time off. The position was, in theory, something the individual should have been able to start with minimal job coaching since he had left a similar role at a different hospital. However, when Charles arrived for the first shift, it was evident that this position required far more responsibility than the previous one. The new management at this job told Charles that the individual was struggling with speed and accuracy. Charles quickly got familiar with what was expected of the individual. It became evident these responsibilities might be too much for the individual to handle. Charles had extensive conversations with management to see where they could scale some
responsibilities back and what expectations were firm. Charles spoke with them about possibly carving out something from the current position that would better fit the individual’s abilities. We heard that the hospital had created a position specifically for this individual. All due to the additional time Charles took resolving a disconnect for this individual (who isn’t even on his caseload).

Regardless of who Charles is interacting with he is always extremely interested in how that person is doing. He is kind, caring, and always wearing a smile. He takes the time to build meaningful relationships with not only the people he serves but everyone he comes into contact with. This has helped build partnerships with others in our agency and aided in building community relationships with employers (something that is paramount to helping the people we serve find meaningful work in the community that is truly integrated).

Charles’s dedication, the ability to help others on his team, and his ongoing pursuit of increasing his own understanding of employment to best serve the people he works with speak to his leadership as an Employment Consultant. Charles is also incredibly eager to learn because he knows that the more he knows, the better he can help the individuals and their families. He will often chuckle and say, “You know me, I am not shy about asking questions or for help when I need it!”

Charles was tasked with job development for an individual with very limited availability due to transportation issues.
Working with this individual can, at times, be a bit challenging due to his own expectations of the process and
communication style, but Charles took on the challenge in stride. Charles and the individual got off to a rocky start because the individual had expectations that he would get placed in a job very quickly; however, when things were not going as quickly as he expected, he frequently reached out to his team members to express his frustration about the process. Charles had his own high expectations and wanted to empower the individual to take a bigger role in the employment search process, which was new territory for the individual that initially he didn’t respond well to. Charles set up weekly check-ins with the individual to review job openings and do résumé development; these check-ins also helped the individual better understand that when applications are submitted, there is often time between the submission and response from potential employers.

Another hurdle Charles encountered was the spoken eagerness of the individual was bigger than the eagerness of the individual to work; for example, they would submit applications to various companies that the individual initially identified as a place he wanted to work, but upon receiving follow-up actions items (interview, questionnaires, etc), the individual would say, “I don’t want to work there.” Charles didn’t let this stop him, and he was able to find employment at Amazon for this individual. The individual was very excited about this placement, leaving a message for Charles’ supervisor, stating, “Charles did a great job. It’s a blessing that he helped me. He got me a job. Charles is the best!” The placement at Amazon required unique training hours, in which Charles had to attend with the individual from 11 PM to 4 AM for a week straight! Charles did this without question while still meeting his other caseload responsibilities. He even attended a team lunch during the week that he could have easily skipped to get some much-needed rest, but as he stated, “It’s only for the week, and I wanted to be here with my team.” Charles is a huge asset to the Supported Employment team!

Thank you, Charles, for the positive impact you make every day on all the people you serve at Continuum!

2023 DSP Of The Year Announced – Donald G.

We are happy to announce this year’s Direct Support Professional of the Year Award winner goes to Donald who works at one of our residential apartment settings!

Donald has been a DSP with Continuum for over 20 years! Here is Donald’s winning nomination:

Donald consistently displays an extremely high level of person-centered thinking for the individuals he serves. He has done so in a variety of settings and with a variety of individuals and he’s truly shown these principles are ingrained into who he is as a person. Over the years he has made many adjustments to his work schedule to accommodate individual preferences and requests for the simplest things such as grocery shopping, medication administration, and personal shopping times. He has come in on days off to accommodate individual travel schedules and to travel with them because no other staff were available. Over the years, he has worked very closely with individuals who may have issues with their home environment or hygiene. He’s done an amazing job of helping them develop skills to be independent in these areas of their life and proud of themselves for the journey it took for them to arrive at that point.

The number of lives Donald has affected over his 20 years of service cannot be counted. Most recently, while Donald was working with an individual he serves, he noticed the individual was not at his baseline and was acting lethargic and not quite like himself. The individual kept telling Donald that he was OK, but Donald knew in the back of his mind something was not right. Donald passed all the appropriate information along to his supervisor and nurse. He was then asked to take the individual to the hospital, where it was discovered, that the individual possibly could have passed away in the coming hours due to silent aspiration pneumonia. Due to Donald’s close observations and knowledge of the individual he was able to save his life.

Donald has great communication skills and he’s done a great job of passing along all observations to his coworkers to make sure everyone is on the same page and can recognize when an individual isn’t at their normal baseline.

Since the life-threatening incident occurred, Donald has had great communication with the individual he serves, making sure the individual will communicate any health concerns he may have, regardless of the seriousness of the concern.

So many times, small observations can be overlooked. However, Donald did an amazing job following his instincts and 20 years of experience. Due to his close observations, he was able to save this individual’s life! For this, and all your years of dedication, thank you!

Congratulations, Donald!


Now Accepting DSP Nominations Anytime!

Do you have a great story you would like to share about how a direct support professional (DSP) positively impacted an individual in service?

Are you an employee who would like to shout out a coworker for their hard work and dedication to the people they serve at Continuum of Colorado?

Share a story or nominate a DSP anytime now! Simply click here to fill out the form and share your story today! Each story will be added for consideration to the following September’s DSP of the Year Nomination process.


2022 DSP of the Year Award Winner

Congratulations to Quintin (Q) Gorgan, Continuum of Colorado’s Direct Support Professional (DSP) of the Year! Q has been with Continuum of Colorado for 7 years as a Life Skills Specialist. He has shown by example what a skilled and experienced DSP does to ensure our individuals’ care and mental health are priorities while performing his duties. Q always approaches people he works with in a respectful manner.

Q was excited about taking one of our individuals out to the theater to see 2 Broadway plays. He worked extensively ahead of time to ensure adequate and comfortable accommodations were in place to suit the needs of the individual he escorted to the play. Arrangements were made to attend the Broadway play, “Gypsy.” Prior to attending, Q explained how the venue was set up and the different accommodations that were in place in order for the individual to attend. Once they arrived, Q made sure that he included the individual in every step of verifying that the venue had the requested and accepted seating arrangements correct, including that the floor level was fitting to the individual to prevent any anxiety that would have prevented her from enjoying the event. After the play, the individual expressed how much she enjoyed the play and she continued to talk about how happy she was to have attended. She expressed that she would like to continue going to the theater based on her experience and how Q made sure she was taken care of in such a professional and thoughtful manner.

Quintin’s leadership capabilities are shown by how he takes the time to meet and greet each person who visits where he works. He has the gift of gab, which helps to highlight the wonderful care the staff he works alongside provides when talking with guardians and visitors that come to the home. Q’s communication skills were front and center when the state inspection was conducted. Q was chosen to demonstrate his G-Tube skills to the inspector. Based on the information shared by the inspector, Q received compliments on his knowledge, communication, and professionalism showed while providing this service to the individual he was working with.

This is the type of Direct Support Professional that is appreciated and needed in all settings! Quintin is very accommodating with any request; he is flexible and does not get frustrated or flustered when changes occur (which can be quite frequent in group homes). Overall, Quintin is a great staff member and a benefit to the individuals we serve and coworkers alike.

For these examples, and many more, we would like to congratulate Quintin on being our Top DSP of the Year for 2022!


Annual James “Bobo” Horam Team Awards Origins

At the beginning of each year, Continuum of Colorado (CoC) takes time to celebrate all the hard work we have accomplished from the year prior. We take this time to nominate outstanding teams for our Annual James “Bobo” Horam Team Award (otherwise known as the Bobo Awards). We’ve highlighted the origins of the Bobo awards below.

In March of 2016, James “Bobo” Horam (who lived at CoC’s Washington house) was informed that he would need to receive hospice care. Bobo had been diagnosed with an advanced stage of liver cancer and was informed by his doctors that it was time to start planning his last remaining days on earth. It was Bobo’s last wish (and insistence) that he stay in his home until the end of his life. Although CoC had done some intermittent hospice care in the past, CoC had never attempted complete hospice care in any of their homes. This would entail long-term, highly intense medical and emotional attention to Bobo throughout the entire process.

After little hesitation from the staff at Washington House, they led the way in honoring Bobo’s last request.  It was never a question of “if” we could serve Bobo at Washington House in hospice care, rather “How” can we continue to serve Bobo through hospice care.  For many months, the staff at Washington House served Bobo in a manner of his choosing; they helped him to continue attending his programs and activities, managed his pain, provided him with his favorites (favorite meals, routines), and most importantly kept him comfortable in his own home through the end of his time with us and his family.  On September 22nd, 2016, after six months of hospice care, James “Bobo” Horam passed away comfortably in his own bed at Washington House surrounded by family and staff that loved him, just as he wanted.

On February 22nd, 2017, Washington House staff was awarded the first-ever James “Bobo” Horam Team Award (Bobo award) for their outstanding dedication, perseverance, teamwork, and efforts to ensure Bobo’s last wish was fulfilled with dignity, respect, and where he was most comfortable, at home.

The Bobo award has been awarded every year since to teams that show the same dedication, ingenuity, and teamwork to go above and beyond for the individuals we serve.

If you would like to nominate an outstanding CoC Team, follow this link 


2021 DSP Of the Year Award Winner

Congratulations to Sarabeth Lawrence, Continuum of Colorado’s Direct Support Professional (DSP) of the year! Sarabeth has been an Activity Services Facilitator with Continuum for 3 years and was recently promoted to Day Activities Lead. Sarabeth was named this year’s winner at our Annual DSP Recognition Banquet last Thursday.
Here is Sarabeth’s winning nomination: Sarabeth has made a huge impact on the lives of people that attend our Day Activities Programs. It is almost as if the pandemic was the catalyst Sarabeth needed to highlight her amazing talents in her role as an Activity Services Facilitator (recently promoted to lead for her dedication and leadership skills as well). Her creativity in providing out-of-the-box thinking and person-centered activities is beyond amazing. While many were struggling to come up with ideas for switching gears from in-person activities to virtual, Sarabeth was already preparing sing-a-longs, puppet shows, and creating Continuum’s first-ever cookbook.
Sarabeth shared her puppeteering skills with our individuals during virtual activities. She started with doing a few puppet shows over Zoom which were a huge hit for all participants. She created her own puppets to make the show more diverse and quickly created a show to incorporate the individuals in creating a puppet theater. They individualized the theater by choosing the colors, the fabrics to be used, etc. Sarabeth then constructed the theater out of an old cabinet she found at a thrift store. She created the theater according to the individuals’ specifications. She now does a weekly puppet show that focuses on learning skills like community safety, socialization, and healthy eating. Which leads us to the cookbook she and the individuals created! Sarabeth, with much collaboration, input, and favorite recipes from the individuals put together Continuum of Colorado’s very first Day Program Quarantine Cookbook. There are well over 50 pages of simple recipes to chase away those Quarantine blues!
Don’t let her expertise and creativity with virtual activities fool you! Now that we are not under lockdown, you will often find Sarabeth taking a group of ladies into the community every day. She has developed a book club where they go to different little libraries throughout the community to read and discuss various books. There are so many examples it is hard to pick just a few!
For your person-centered activities and peer leadership, you are our Top DSP of the Year 2021! Congratulations, Sarabeth!

Welcome Back to Teamwork Tuesday

Today we are happy to introduce you to our Residential Teams!

Continuum of Colorado provides residential services in a variety of settings for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Those settings include Group Homes (6 or fewer individuals in a home with 24/7 awake staffing), Independent Apartment settings (staff is available remotely for assistance), Host Home settings (individuals live with a family that provides services), and Family Caregiver settings (the individual receives services from their own family members in their own homes).
Our goal is for people to be able to receive services they need/want in a home they want to live in, with the people they want to live with and, in the community of their choice.

Our amazing staff, Host Home Providers, and Family Caregivers work 24/7 to provide not only necessary health and wellness care for the people we serve but also support people in experiencing things in life they enjoy. They help people get out into their communities, provide transportation to medical appointments, grocery stores, vacations, jobs, and day programs, help foster spending time with family, friends, and loved ones and so much more!

This past year has been even more challenging for our dedicated residential staff as they have had to help navigate this global pandemic while continuing to provide excellent services to the people that live in our residential services.

We cannot thank you enough for your hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

We hope you have enjoyed learning just a bit about our Residential Teams!