Occupational Therapist Interns Lead Group Sessions at The Hub
The newest round of occupational therapist interns just started their summer internship at Hub of Hope. Janet Nguyen and Kyle Chang, graduate students at Thomas Jefferson University, are spending their summer weekdays organizing group sessions for people that come into Hub of Hope.
“We really are intentional with focusing on chronic conditions,” says Tina DeAngelis, clinical occupational therapist supervisor at Project HOME. “It could be anything from helping someone who has diabetes, hypertension, chronic pain, arthritis, or having issues with functional mobility. Our groups really are health and wellness-oriented.”
Candice Player, vice president of outreach services, says the sessions are a great way to keep visitors engaged while teaching them something new. "What I love is the way they combine the activities of daily living (ADL) that needs work, where people need some support, with something fun."
The internship program at the Hub started in September 2022 and welcomes interns in the fall, spring, and summer. Tina, Kyle, and Janet develop activities for their visitors such as making sunscreen for the summer, brainstorming personal goals and working through trauma.
“We create group sessions based on their interests and what we see a need for. We do initial screenings to get a general idea of what the people want to do. Based on that information, we try to create a program that's run by them, essentially.” said Kyle.
Together they help the participants set and reach attainable goals. “It really does feel like such a tight knit community already. I feel a lot of support, a lot of love, a lot of faith in each other and the belief that we're all going places. The participants and all the staff.” said Janet.
Twanda recently started receiving services and enjoys having a secure place to handle basic needs. “I was struggling because I couldn't really find no place to wash up or to change your clothes and people kept on saying go to the Hub.” she said.
Twanda says the occupational therapy sessions help keep her positive and motivated.
“It gives you that half an hour to just do something fun. We get to make different perfumes. I've gotten [a pedicure], we played bingo for prizes. It’s something that takes you out of the tragedy of being homeless.”
Kyle and Janet both have a passion for helping others and are already connecting with the people served at the Hub. They’re looking forward to leading more group sessions and learning how to better support our unhouses neighbors.