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CHS News

CHS Opens New Tewksbury Home

News, Uncategorized

The human service workforce shortage continues at a crisis level in Massachusetts. This has led to housing consolidation by some provider organizations due to a lack of trained staff to fill 24/7 services. Cooperative for Human Services (CHS) was asked by the Department of Developmental Services to receive three individuals supported by another local human services provider into CHS care and the organization responded to meet their residential placement needs.

CHS identified a house in a quiet Tewksbury neighborhood that had already been renovated and expanded into a two-family home with an in-law addition and partnered with a long-time CHS investor who purchased the property and provided the company with a multi-year lease opportunity. The solar-powered house was modified to return it back to a single family dwelling. CHS converted it into five bedrooms and added a large fenced yard for outdoor recreational activities and opened Kearsage in May 2023 to serve three young men and added a fourth housemate who joined them in June.

This is the organizations second residential program in the DDS Lowell Area Office catchment. CHS also operates a home located in Tewksbury that supports individuals with acquired brain injuries.

Change of Chief Financial Officer

News, Uncategorized

Cooperative for Human Services announced that Glen Charney, Chief Financial Officer, will retire from the organization after 17 years of service. Glen and his family have relocated to Virignia. Glen will remain with CHS through June 2023 to facilitate a transition of the Business Office and pending financial functions.

Deanna Asselin has been appointed Chief Financial Officer and joins CHS with nearly twenty years of non-profit financial leadership experience. This includes direct collaboration with Commonwealth funders such as the Department of Developmental Services and her background encompasses State contract management, fiscal policies and a working knowledge of DDS regulations.

In past roles, Deanna implemented electronic accounting software applications and is looking forward to seek out new opportunities to automate CHS financial processes wherever possible. She directs the CHS Business Office staff and will lead the annual financial audit of the organization at the close of the fiscal year on June 30, 2023.

We welcome Deanna to the Executive team and the positive impact she will have on the organization.

Putting the ‘community’ in community-based services


Mathew Lambert, a Clinical Coordinator at Cooperative for Human Services Inc. makes sure the individuals he serves are connected to all the resources they need to live as independently as possible in the community. He provides clinical supports, schedules medical and dental appointments, even teaches individuals how to budget money and eat healthier.

So, when Charlie, one of the people served by Lambert, needed a new roof for his house last fall, Lambert coordinated that too, helping initiate a GoFundMe campaign that raised enough money to get the job done. Volunteers and local businesses donated supplies, services and time because, Lambert explained, Charlie’s a legend in his town.

“Whenever we’re out in his community, everyone knows him,” said Lambert, who has worked with Charlie for four years. “He has firm roots in town and really enjoys talking with people, especially construction workers and police. He helps out people around town, too, like with raking leaves.”

Which makes it no surprise that the online fundraiser raised $7,000 in just over a week; and the full amount was realized in about three weeks.

Charlie, who inherited the house he grew up in, has been supported by CHS for a long time, but has made even more progress since being teamed with Lambert. In fact, this dynamic duo was presented with a certificate of achievement from the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services Northeast Regional Office in 2018 “for exemplary support and partnership to achieve and promote significant accomplishments of a self-advocate.”

There was a time when Lambert considered becoming a teacher and leaving the human services field. He weighed the impact of changing careers, and decided instead to earn a second master’s degree, this time in mental health counseling.

As it turned out, in his role as Clinical Coordinator, Lambert is a teacher. Every day he emphasizes CHS’ guiding principle of learning being a lifelong process. He instructs individuals on activities of daily living, social skills and even – in Charlie’s case – how to paint the inside of a house.

Lambert recently marked seven years with CHS. Whether you speak to the people he supports, his colleagues, or drive by Charlie’s house and see the new roof made possible through a coordinated community effort, you quickly learn that Lambert goes above and beyond to enrich lives and empower people.


Providing More Services in Wakefield

News, Uncategorized

Cooperative for Human Services Inc. is always willing to provide care and assistance in any way possible. Recently, MA Department of Developmental Services requested that CHS assume responsibility for the management and operation of a home in Wakefield. With collaboration between DDS, and another local human services provider, services to the home were transferred to CHS effective December 1, 2022.

The cooperation between the three organizations ensured a seamless transition for the young women residing at the home. CHS staff worked closely with each family during the transition period building strong, supportive and productive relationships.

The result of this successful collaboration and transition means the individuals are able to remain in their beautiful, fully assessable home with uninterrupted services and the continuation of their quality care. Additionally, it is expected that these women will welcome two new housemates in early 2023!

From Banking to Human Services: Rewards of Career Change are Priceless

News, Uncategorized
Lou DiRupo has three words for everyone considering a big career change:

“Follow your heart.” 

When the longtime commercial banker joined Cooperative for Human Services as an Individual Support Services (ISS) Manager, the change was both intimidating and invigorating.

“Working in a corporation meant I had to do what I had to do for my family, grind it out at the bank for a long time,” said DiRupo, who worked with several nonprofit organizations in his time as a banker. “I really respected the work that those organizations accomplished, and always had it in the back of my mind that at some point in my life or career I would like to be a part of something like that. It got to the point where the kids grew up and left home. I experienced some health issues, too, and it changed my perspective on things.”

That’s what led him to take a sabbatical from the bank – time that he spent volunteering for several nonprofit organizations, including CHS.

“I started to feel really good about that,” he said. “In working with CHS, I thought that it would be a really good fit. Not only was the mission of the organization great, you could literally see the impact that you make every single day, which is awesome! It is intimidating to walk away from your comfort zone, something you’ve done for 34 years. You know almost everything about the job, then step into an organization where you know literally almost nothing.”

DiRupo quickly learned, however, that certain skills are transferrable between organizations, like management and supervisory skills acquired over the years.

“You won’t know all of the specifics, you have to learn them, but basic skills like delegation, time management, teamwork – all these are transferrable across industries,” he said. “It was also invigorating to learn so much that was new. It’s always exciting to learn new things and it’s definitely a challenge. At the same time, to be out in the field and see the immediate impact of what you do every day, right away, is rewarding.”

The human services sector overall offers a wide array of meaningful career opportunities that have immediate, positive impacts on people’s lives. While many of the positions, like DiRupo’s, provide direct support to individuals with developmental disabilities, there also jobs – such as finance, IT, facilities, maintenance and compliance – that do not.

“With the number of people in the workforce declining, we are actively recruiting people from other industries who love people and want to contribute in a more meaningful way,” said Kevin J. Leahy, CEO. “We encourage managers from sectors such as retail, food service, banking and other service industries, to know that they can leave jobs that are less satisfying and transfer their supervisory skills to the incredibly rewarding work in human services.”

DiRupo has advice for people who are considering a career change, or want to try human services as a volunteer.

“I think people have to just get out of their comfort zone a little bit and really take a perspective on what you think is really important, not only to you but to others around you,” he said. “Don’t be intimidated because you’re stepping out of one industry to the next. Instead, think about the things and skills that you have acquired over your lifetime that would allow you to go into another work situation and succeed.

“What I saw at the bank for so long is people just grinding it out, saying ‘I wish I did this; I wish I took that path.’ It’s never too late! If you’re really unhappy with what you are doing, then why continue? If you never try, you’ll never know what you would really love to do.”

To learn more about job opportunities at CHS, Click on the Jobs tab on our homepage.

Introducing Our New Vice President of Programs and Services

News, Uncategorized

During the darkest moments of the pandemic our organization was still finding unique ways to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families, expanding and developing supports, services and programs. With the continually increasing demand for support services and for expansion, to strengthen and to position the organization for future growth and to meet the challenges ahead, it was determined by the CHS Executive leadership team together with the CHS Board of Directors, that a new leadership position was necessary and would be added. That decision led to a national search, led by a third-party recruitment agency. The search presented several strong candidates giving the leadership team a solid assortment of leaders to select from. We are excited to introduce Amy Miner-Fletcher, from Massachusetts.

Amy joined CHS as Vice President of Programs and Services in July. Initially responding to CHS, Amy said “The prospect of this role calls to my drive to continue to serve vulnerable individuals and their families in a mission-driven culture.” Amy is a career long leader in the service of others with over twenty years of leadership experience as an operational and clinically trained executive. Amy holds a BA in Psychology, a MA in Counseling Psychology, and is a licensed mental health counselor. She has a background in growing, managing, mentoring, and motivating teams to support employees in achieving their highest potential.

In prior positions, Amy focused on serving families, children, and vulnerable individuals, with an emphasis in early childhood and autism services in Massachusetts and Connecticut. She has a proven track record of collaborating cross-functionally, developing new leaders, and spearheading multi-million-dollar service lines and mission and value driven programs by identifying and implementing industry trends and best practices. Amy’s extensive experience working with families and enhancing service delivery will be an asset in her role as VP of Programs and Services. She will continue the expansion of CHS’s vision, strategy and structure, strengthening staff capacity, while further developing organization culture and system improvements. Amy is responsible for strengthening our Residential, Individual Support, Shared Living, and Acquired Brain Injury Services, while developing a strong team in Human Resources.

We are very happy to have Amy join us and are excited about the many contributions she will make to our work.

Make A Change In Yourself & Others!


Syed has done a lot of thinking in his life. Throughout his childhood he has felt strong empathy for others and has always found ways to give back through community programs, and volunteer work. Now more than ever, he wants to support others who might need a helping hand, but through his career. He felt that a role which was the best of both worlds is the way to go! This would allow him to put more time into empowering others overall (through his career and volunteered time).

Syed believes that spreading positivity empowers him in turn, too! He enjoys creating strong bonds with others and has made many life-long friendships through his work, which fills him with motivation. With us, he’s able to continue this more directly and considers our clients as family. Not only is he meeting their needs, but getting to know who they really are FOR who they are—their wants; hobbies, interests, likes, and dislikes, too.

@ CHS, our staff build greater connections. They do the most in ensuring others get the help that they need no matter how “small” or “big” those things may seem.

Join us to be part creating change! Apply on online through our Careers Page Here. If you’d like to discuss available roles, give us a call @ (781)879-9339.

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Start a New Life Here @ CHS


Nia has been a part of the food service industry for years and has decided it was time for a change of pace. She still wanted a flexible career that would work with her regular schedule, but wanted to find a way to connect with others better—a way to serve and help others in new ways and to become more personable.

She saw one of our bus advertisements and read up about us through our website! Our mission statement felt right to her and from there she applied through our website on our Careers Page.

Nia was a delight to speak to and immediately we knew she was right for a role with Cooperative for Human Services. The best part was that we were able to get her in contact with a client in her community, meaning an easy commute that doesn’t affect her daily schedule. We were able to come up with a work schedule that would suit them both, as well!

Caring for our members in turn of them caring and supporting others. @ CHS, we work better together. Not only do benefits start on day one, but we make sure that we fully discuss all terms with our employees.

Want a flexible career that works for you? Call us @ (781)879-9339 to learn more. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about the roles we have available. Go here if you’re ready to apply: Careers Page Here.

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Find a Rewarding Career @ CHS


Sofia, like many other of our staff, shares a similar story. She often worked long hours to make ends meet. Although it was tiring, she would do her best and put in all of her effort in the hopes of moving up the ladder bit by bit. Unfortunately, her work was never recognized here, leaving her to believe that it was time to create a new path where she could continue to learn and grow from. To her, it was a sign to change careers.

Sofia found out about us through our ads. She decided to apply online and followed up with one of our team members, Katie, through the phone.

Through our talk with Sofia, we found that she was interested in pursuing a career in healthcare or social work. She felt that working with us would put her a step in that direction! Even better to her was the fact that we provide training to our new staff members!

Looking for a new field to make a career out of? Want to know more about us at Cooperative for Human Services? Give us a call at (781)879-9339 to see if we’re a good fit for you. If you’re ready to apply, fill out the online application on the careers page here: Careers Page Here.

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Belong @ CHS


Ada didn’t feel like she belonged at her workplace for a long time. She really wanted to do something more for herself and find a career path that she belonged to–somewhere she’d fit right in and would align with her principles! For her, it was the perfect time to switch gears. It was time for her to find a place where she could continue to learn & grow.

Ada has always wanted to support her community but was never sure how to make a career out of it. That’s how she found us, Cooperative for Human Services! @ CHS, we work together as a team to support and counsel our clients in the community. We come together to empower others.

After accepting a role with us, Ada was trained to work with those of different abilities. In addition to being trained, she was able to bring her own skills to the table such as painting. These skills have been introduced to the people she’s worked with! Many were able to realize their knack for the arts, giving them a broader scope of their capabilities.

It’s talented and fun staff members like Ada who bring out the best in our clients. For that reason, we @ CHS, are extremely grateful for our workers and counselors. Benefits start your first day!

Do you have skills and hobbies that you can bring to CHS? Love reading, watching movies, or enjoying a good football game? Now’s your chance to share those interests with community members! Give Katie a call at (781)879-9339 or fill out our online application on the careers page here: Careers Page

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Cooperative for Human Services

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