Case Manager in January… Santa by December
| Brandon Biron, A.K.A. Santa
Did you know that for most of the year Santa is the team manager of Sutherland Apartments, a supervised apartment program at Community Care Alliance?
That’s right. For the last 8 years, Santa (known as Brandon Biron in the off season) manages a residential program that gives people the opportunity to live in their own apartment. This kind of housing goes a long way in giving people with severe and persistent mental illness the autonomy to live independently in the community.
Why does Santa do this?
“I have spent well over a century designing and making toys most of the year. One day several years ago I decided that I needed a change. I looked for another noble endeavor that would truly make a difference in helping people individually and in the community at large. I thought it would be different and enlightening to work in a smaller setting, so I set my sights on little old Rhode Island, the smallest state in the USA. I knew my elves are experts, very well trained in the day to day and could handle the toy building operation without me. I have not looked back since landing a job at Community Care Alliance. I started as Residential Case Manager and now lead an extraordinary team that helps people every day with a myriad of situations at Sutherland Apartments and Chicoine House.”
When he is Brandon, Team Manager, there are small hints that Brandon is Santa. It takes a lot of personality to be an effective case manager. Some of the daily encounters can be challenging and creative interactions are needed to connect with people who may be having a bad day. As you can see from our Santa photos, Santa has a sense of humor that fits the bill for working in the residential setting.
Volunteers and donors make it possible!
Every year, Santa delights children from our Family Visiting programs. At this special occasion, families gather to meet Santa and have photos of the children taken. Families spend time with one another and pick handmade mittens, hats and gloves that are donated by the Pins & Needle group that meets at the Slatersville Congregational Church in N. Smithfield. Photos are taken by the Stony Brook Camera Club with former Sr. VP, Nancy Paradee, who is enjoying her retirement with her camera in tow. Santa A.K.A Brandon Biron