AWARD WINNING STAFF MEMBER
Mattie Harrigan embodies what it means to create, promote, and enhance support services available to people with disabilities.
For more than ten years, Mattie has worked tirelessly to help individuals with disabilities realize their dream of getting and maintaining community-based employment, but it doesn’t stop there. The relationships that Mattie makes are life-long and trust-filled, making community connections helping to improve the lives of the families she serves.
Over the years, Mattie has helped find and place more than 550 jobs for people with disabilities. This is no small feat, especially in North Philadelphia, where we serve most of our people. Many of the families have serious concerns about allowing their loved one to go out to work in the community alone. This is where Mattie really shines. She sits down with the entire family and really gets to understand the situation, the concerns, and most importantly, the employment dreams of the individual.
Sometimes the obstacles to finding community-based, integrated employment seem too big to overcome. This has never stopped Mattie. If you have a dream of working and an idea of the types of jobs that you would like, Mattie will help you realize that dream. If the hurdle is transportation, she will make sure that the individual is travel trained; if it is a lack of paperwork, she will help get the affairs in order; if it is needing a physical, she will help to arrange making that happen. It is because of her deep involvement with the community that she is able to make so much happen for so many. She knows who to call and when to call them. And she always comes through.
Mattie is a leader in her field and in the community as a whole. She uses every opportunity to engage individuals, businesses, and community groups as an opportunity to serve people with disabilities. She does this in small and big ways. It might look like forming a relationship with a clothing store or vintage clothes shop that enables her consumers to get low or no cost clothes for work. It might look like suggesting training or special classes that open up doors for more specialized programs and services. Or it might look like leading a group of young men who will later become volunteers in their community. All making a profound positive impact on the people that she serves.