Whitney Craig | Communications Specialist

Debbie Bloom, House Manager at Village Men, celebrated ten years of working with ADEC on August 9.

“The thing that keeps me here is theclients—my guys,” Debbie shared. “They’relike family for me because a lot of them don’t have family. So we are their family. Just being an advocate for them, for their best, that’s my main thing.”

Debbie spent 12 years as a school bus driver before coming to ADEC. When she started to look for a part time job, she thought of how much her sister enjoyed working at ADEC. With that in mind, she started as relief staff in several houses, but primarily Village Men. A year later, the manager position came open and she put in for it.

Debbie feels that her experience as relief staff allowed her the opportunity to observe others and come up with her own management style. Over the past nine years, she’s built meaningful relationships with her staff and clients.

“I know their quirks and they know mine,” Debbie said. “We all get along real well. I have really good staff. They do a lot for me, and I can’t do it without them . . . We are just so blessed that we all work well together. It’s truly a home here.”

As Debbie reflected on her ten years with ADEC, one memory stood out. A particularly “ornery” client lived at Village Men and recently passed away. He would always give Debbie a hard time and tell her that he “was going to fire her.” She knew it was all in good fun, and she would give it right back. Sometime before he passed, she brought him to the emergency room. As they sat in the waiting room together, he looked over at her and said, “Debbie, don’t leave me.”

“He was always going to ‘fire me,’ then he turns around and says, ‘Debbie, don’t leave me,’” Debbie remembered. “That was very touching and that’s what it’s all about.”