BILL: Yeah, back on the big show. Community Connection. KGMI News Talk 790. Kgmi.com and 96.5 FM in Bellingham. I’m Bill Davis, your host here on the big show, Community Connection. Thank you for making us part of your weekend. It’s always a pleasure to invade your space. I love the way I say that, invade your space. But, we’re actually invading your space with some great stories today. I am joined by uh, a couple of, uh, a couple of old friends from, oh, I just made your guys old, I’m sorry.
BILL: Can you find it in your heart to forgive me? Mary Nestle-Klyn
MARY: I am actually old, Bill.
BILL: Oh you’ve got a long way to go til you catch up with me. Mary Nestle-Klyn, with Cascade Connections, and your title, as always is?
MARY: Residential Contracts Administrator.
BILL: Oh boy, I bet that that means that you administrate residential contracts.
MARY: You know, it does, but really my job is a little bit different every day, and that’s probably why I’m still there sixteen years later.
BILL: Obviously. So, well Mary, always good seeing you. You’ve, uh, been here before, and, uh, Nikki Kilmer, with, uh, Cascade Connections, is this the first time you and I are having a little, uh, a little session inside the studio?
NIKKI: This is the first time, Bill, yes.
BILL: Seriously? Well, now tell me what you do there.
NIKKI: I’m a Program Coordinator for Bellingham Supported Living.
BILL: Mhmm. And that would be, uh, let’s see, give me the one-minute exclamation of what you do.
NIKKI: Of what Supported Living does, or what I do?
BILL: Well, what you do, and what Supported Living is all about.
NIKKI: Well, Supported Living, um, it’s one of our residential programs. It allows individuals to live independently in the community. We provide the supports that they need to do that. So, weekly grocery shopping, community activities, we oversee financial and medical, all the things one would need to live independently, or as independently as possible. And, as a Program Coordinator, I help oversee, um, our staff, and hiring, and just the clients’ needs as well. And training, and just lots of fun stuff.
BILL: Sounds like every day’s different.
BILL: Yeah, and um, Mary, for those who are joining us for the first time and don’t know much about Cascade Connections, I don’t know why they wouldn’t, it seems like we talk to you guys all the time and you’re always out in the community. Tell me about your, uh, your mission there.
Mary: We do so much in the community, it it’s hard to summarize, but I will try. Um, basically we empower people with disabilities to live and work in their community.
BILL: Well, that’s simple enough, isn’t it? Yeah. I, I say simple enough. The statement is simple enough, the mission statement. However, putting it into reality, that’s a lot of work, isn’t it?
MARY: Right. Sure.
BILL: Yeah. But it comes from the heart, so I’m sure that it, it ends up being easy, especially when you see the fruits of your labor.
MARY: We, we all love doing it, definitely.
BILL: Excellent. Ah, well, uh, we also have a couple of guests with, well, I say a couple of guests, we’ve already introduced a couple of guests, but we have some new guests, who, um, you’ve brought a, uh, a couple of friends with you. Kayla and Tim, right?
MARY: Yep, so
BILL: So tell me about Kayla and Tim.
MARY: Tim and Kayla have, um, recently moved out of their parents’ home, and for the first time are living independently in the community with supports provided by Cascade. And, you know, we, we felt like there’s been a lot of really heavy conversations lately that we’ve had here with you Bill, talking about funding and the legislature
BILL: Well, it’s a serious subject and occasionally we do have to broach
BILL: those subjects that do take on kind of a heavy tone
MARY: Yeah, right. But we wanted to balance that out and remind people that there are so many positives too and that we’re doing really great work with some really cool people.
BILL: Yeah. And that’s why you brought Tim and Kayla in with you today
BILL: Um, Kayla, can I start with you first?
KAYLA: Yes sir, you may.
BILL: Well, it is good to see you. Thank you so much for coming in. Now, uh, you moved out of your parents’ house and with uh assistance from Cascade Connections, you are, I understand, living on your own. What’s the best part of living on your own?
KAYLA: Well, like, first off, you don’t have any parents telling you what to do, like
BILL: Hey, that always works out well
KAYLA: Like, when you sit, when you lay on the, on your like little blue couch, you don’t have your mom telling you ‘Kayla, sit up!’
KAYLA: And you don’t have to make up a white lie and go ‘I can’t, I’m tired’ or maybe pretend that you’re sick
BILL: Yeah, so it’s nice not having parents around just bossing you around, right?
KAYLA: Well, right, it’s like being released from a cage or something.
BILL: Wow, I never thought of it that way, but you know, I think you’re right. When I got to college and got out of my parents’ house, that’s exactly what it felt like, the cage door was open.
MARY: And maybe some things that the rest of us, um, take for granted,
BILL: Totally for granted, yeah.
MARY: that these guys are experiencing for the first time.
BILL: Tim, what about you? What’s the best part of living on your own?
TIM: Well, I guess, I’m, I’m getting to do things at my own time, um
BILL: Kind of setting your own pace, right?
BILL: Yeah. That’s a cool thing to do. Just set your own pace. Parents not around telling you, like, uh, like Kayla said, get off the sofa or sit up, right?
BILL: Very, very nice. Let me go back to you Kayla, um
BILL: Why do you like Cascade Connections so much?
KAYLA: Oh, well, to tell you the truth, they are a lot nicer than your parents.
BILL: Very good, I like that
KAYLA: Yeah, and they do whatever you want them, they do what you want to do, like you know, say “Kayla, you want to go for coffee after this” yada yada. They say “Okay” you know “whatever you say” you know
BILL: Yeah, you know Kayla I think one of your problems is that you just can’t come out of your shell.
BILL: You just can’t express yourself very much. I’m, I’m kidding you, you’re being very very verbose and we like that actually.
KAYLA: Oh, thank you Bill.
BILL: Yeah, and, um, hey Tim, what do you like to do for fun, by the way, since you guys are living on your own now?
TIM: I like to read, I like to play music. I like, I like to go out to restaurants.
TIM: And, um, and I like to listen to books
BILL: Oh, like audio books. Yeah, very cool, I like that. Obviously the staff helps you a lot, Kayla, do you want to run me through a situation of how they do help you?
KAYLA: Like, okay, like, I have a, um, a medicine I take every morning, a medication that’s called Saizen cause my body cannot produce natural growth hormone, and I get those injections every morning, and I have therapeutic rings with a bracelet attached to them that a local artist named Megan Kinman makes them, and, I like, um, if I need adjusting of clothes, my staff helps me with that, and picking out clothes, and also meal prep too.
BILL: Oh, yeah. So, um, help me out here, uh, Nikki, would this be a part of uh, Supported, uh, Living? Would this be a situation where you come in, and like she says, meal prep, things like that?
BILL: Oh, okay
BILL: So a staff member would, what, come in the morning, and afternoon, and evening?
NIKKI: Yeah, it varies by the individual, and their, each individual’s needs, but usually we have staff coming in, and helping with morning routines, um, maybe doing some community activities that afternoon, or taking, helping people get to work, and then we have evening staff helping with evening routines, dinner, cleaning, whatever that person needs support in, yeah
BILL: We have about 30 seconds left to send with you, um, Mary Nestle-Klyn, do you want to tell people how to get in touch with, uh, Cascade Connections, should they need your services, and I know you’re always looking for good people too.
MARY: Certainly. We’re, we’re hiring, and you would, you know, get to work with great people like Tim and Kayla. You can go to cascadeconnections.org and see a list of our open positions. You could also give us a call at 714-9355. I’m extension 114. And I’m always happy to answer questions and help walk families through the path of getting services, as well as direct applicants to the right place.
BILL: And Tim and Kayla, thanks so much for coming in, you’re welcome back anytime. Would you come visit us again and give us an update sometime?
KAYLA: Sure, um, maybe yeah, or maybe at least, maybe invite a couple people out to coffee?
BILL: Yeah, that’s a good idea. Well, you guys are uh, welcome back any time, thanks for coming in.
KAYLA: Thank you
MARY: Thank you
BILL: We will continue here with Community Connection in just a moment. KGMI News Talk 790, kgmi.com, and, uh, on the FM dial, 96.5 FM in Bellingham.