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.