Tia Shepard’s  seven-year-old son will often ask his mom to take him to work, particularly when they have special events.

“He likes to play baseball with Eric,” she said, referring to one of the individuals in the house, who has a photo of her son on his record player cover. “They consider each other best friends.”

Calling her workplace “my home away from home,” she refers to the supervisors, staff, and individuals as her family.

Tia serves as assistant manager of a spacious house set at the foot of a mountain on a quiet dead-end street. Calling the position ideal for her, it took a good amount of coaxing from her husband, friends, and coworkers for Tia to step up to the larger role.

“I was perfectly happy at my previous house,” she said, where she worked as residential support. “Everything was great there, so I was nervous about moving up, taking on more responsibility while raising my young son.” As a result, it took her more than two years before making the move.

She explored four other houses before picking her current house. “They wanted to make sure it was the right fit for me,” she explained. “Everyone at this agency is incredibly accommodating. They want you to be happy, because they know my well-being has an impact on the individuals we serve.”

Along with the daily work, she described some of her favorite perks, which has included several trips to New York City to see Broadway shows like the Lion King, Frozen, and King Kong. “It’s all part of the job,” she said, laughing. She noted that due to the space and tranquil setting of the house, other BCArc houses visit them for picnics and events.

Asked about her next career move—site manager—Tia, as expected, insisted she was not budging from her current spot.  “I love it here.”

“They wanted to make sure it was the right fit for me. Everyone at this agency is incredibly accommodating.”

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