News & Events

Inspiring stories that showcase our growth and success and the community partnerships that make it possible.

FLCHS

FLCHS Students Help Our Banners Sparkle For Gala

September 21, 2018 – Thank you Father Lopez Catholic High School students for your community service. For the second year in a row, FLCHS students helped clean our 16 seven-foot Duvall banners.

The two-sided pole banners collected dirt and debris while on display in downtown DeLand last August. Close to 20,000 vehicles (FDOTand pedestrians passed the banners each day along Woodland Blvd. and were able to view images of empowerment of those we serve. 

FLCHA

Next week, the banners will be repurposed at Duvall’s 2018 Inspiration Gala so that family and friends can enjoy the sparkling smiles again.

Thank you to banner sponsors Reames Employee Benefits Solutions, Inc., Florida Hospital and Florida Public Utilities.

Past service from Father Lopez Catholic High School

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Larry Hopper Duvall Homes

DSP Retires After 25 Loyal Years at Duvall Homes

September 19, 2018 – “A rock star – that’s how I feel. What job can you go to every day and feel like you’re a rock star on stage?”  Those are the words Larry Hopper from DeLand said at his retirement party last Friday after working 25 years for Duvall Homes – the nonprofit organization in DeLand that has been providing residential supportive care and training for people with developmental disabilities since 1945.

Steven DeVane and Larry Hopper
Duvall Homes’ CEO, Steven DeVane, congratulates DSP Larry Hopper for his 25 years of service.

Originally from New York, Hopper first came to work for Duvall as a Resident Assistant in 1990. The personal caregiver position is now referred to as Direct Support Professional (DSP). DSPs provide non-medical care and services to people with special needs in their home and in the community. After working at Duvall for a respectable 11 years, Hopper left in 2001 to run a small engraving and decal business. Three years later, facing the typical stresses that come with owning a business, he decided to return to the job that gave him the most satisfaction. Hopper worked 14 more years for Duvall.

“The moment you walk in the door, residents cheer your name out loud. You feel like a rock star!” said Hopper with his large, infectious smile. “And they notice every single detail about you. ‘I like your shirt Larry. Did you get a haircut?’ Where else do you get that kind of daily welcome?”

Cake

Larry is going to be missed by many – by the Duvall residents for sure, but also by fellow DSPs and Group Home Managers. He’s part of a shrinking workforce, and an aging generation that didn’t think twice about taking on a challenging job to benefit someone else in the community.

Direct Support Professionals
Larry with fellow DSPs (Joel, Ed and Cynthia) who, collectively, have worked 78 years for Duvall Homes!

“The DSPs at Duvall are our front line. We depend on them to provide the very best care for our residents, as well as keep our group homes clean, organized and safe,” said Sherrie Moore, Group Home Manager. Moore is one of seven supervisors who help manage Duvall’s 15 group homes and 62 DSPs. Maintaining residential care plans for close to 100 residents makes the DSP position an integral role in Duvall’s Support Team. DSPs ensure the health and welfare of the residents are priority one. “They help to keep the whole team on the same page with respect to the record keeping and progress of each individual,” added Moore.

Group Home Manager
Group Home Manager Vicky Stanfield, a former DSP who just celebrated 36 years at Duvall, today, gets a surprise visit from a former resident, Amanda, 26 years later!

“Larry is only one of several DSPs who have worked at Duvall for more than 20 years,” said CEO Steven DeVane.   “DSP Phyllis Griffith, who retired not too long ago, dedicated more than 30 years of her life to Duvall. It can be a challenge to find younger folks to make that same commitment the way past generations did. This has become a crisis not just for Duvall Homes, but for providers like us across the state of Florida, and the nation.” DeVane has worked continuously with state legislators for the past two years to temporarily modify hiring mandates because age, experience and other criteria practically stifled all hiring. Things are looking much brighter now because of his advocacy.

Group Home Manager Danisa with Larry
La Gerente de Hogar de Grupo Danisa Taska felicita a Larry Hopper DSP, acaba de jubilarse después de dedicar 25 aňos de su vida a cuidar a personas con necesidades especiales. [Danisa Taska, congratulates DSP Larry Hopper.]
DeVane and his executive staff know full well that the probability of a new hire remaining with Duvall for 25 years, like Larry, is pretty low. What they can promise is that young hires, who make even a short-term commitment to work for Duvall, will receive valuable training and priceless experience that develops the life skills of critical thinking, effective communication and self-awareness, while building patience, compassion and character.

“New hires at Duvall Homes develop skills that may not be developed in other jobs,” said Christina Negri, Duvall Homes’ Director of Human Resources. “Being a DSP for a minimum of one-to-two years can be a fantastic stepping stone; it can lead to work in other healthcare or customer-service related fields.”

The qualifications for, and benefits of, being a Direct Support Professional are being messaged on various hiring platforms to reach high school grads, age 21 and over, who are looking for work or looking to change their career. But, digital and print ads, social media posts and career fairs are not enough. Duvall Homes depends on parents, grandparents, teachers, guidance counsellors and other community mentors to instill the life-long value in making a short-term commitment to care for people with developmental disabilities. This way we can all be a part of retaining a crucial workforce for a population that depends on it.

#ImInspired
“I’m proud of the work I do. If I could share with others one thing, it would be not to underestimate what those in our care are capable of doing… much more than you think.” – DSP Sanjuana (pictured with Lyle) has worked for Duvall Homes for 12 years.

While preparing for their fourth annual Inspiration Gala fundraiser, September 28, Duvall Homes continues to accept applications for Direct Support Professionals and other support specialist positions at their Opportunities Enrichment Day Training Center. For more information, visit DuvallHomes.org/Careers or contact Christina Negri at cnegri@duvallhomes.org or 386.734.2874 x127. #TheDuvallDifference  Apply on Indeed.

Duvall Receptionist Retires After 33 Years

Phyllis Griffith Retires

Posted by Lisa Habermehl

Resident Assistant

Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week

September 10, 2018 – A Huge Thank You: This week is Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week. Fellow staff, residents and families value the vital contributions DSPs make to the Duvall Support Team and to our community.

“Our DSPs are simply awesome,” said Duvall Group Home Manager Christine E. “We depend on them to keep our group homes organized and running smoothly so that our residents are comfortable and safe every single day.”

Direct Support ProfessionalDSPs and other specialists are instrumental Duvall Support Team members in empowering those in our care. They each are trained experts who deliver programming and services focused on developing personal life skills that strengthen independence and self-pride for those with special needs.

We are most fortunate to have such caring, selfless employees, like Sanjuana pictured here, who has cared for individuals like Lyle for close to 12 years at Duvall Homes.

“I’m proud of the work I do,” said Sanjuana. “If I could share with others one thing, it would be not to underestimate what those in our care are capable of doing… Much more than you think.” Thank you Sanjuana! And to our all of our DSPs.

Learn more about DSPs and the services we provide for people with special needs at DuvallHomes.org/Programs-Services#TheDuvallDifference  #DSPRW2018
Come join our team DuvallHomes.org/Careers.

Posted by Lisa Habermehl

Duvall's Group Homes

Hurricane Preparedness

September 7, 2018 – As we enter the peak of hurricane season, we are once again reminded of the generosity and care of our families and community.  Together, they helped to provide the much-needed support to obtain and install automatic generators at our group homes this past year.

“Thanks to our parents, families and community, we now have peace of mind that we can maintain power for refrigeration, laundry and lighting. Maintaining our group homes at a comfortable temperature can help us avoid serious problems,” said Marsha Shankleton, Duvall’s Chief Operating Officer.

We also send an extended thank you to the dedicated staff at Duvall Homes. Our professionally trained team of caregivers ensures that each of Duvall’s Group Homes maintains a heightened level of disaster preparedness throughout the year due to the fragility of those in our care. #TheDuvallDifference

Read more in past news: DuvallHomes.org/A-Special-Holiday-Thank-You and DuvallHomes.org/Newsletters. Other Duvall News: DuvallHomes.org/News-Events.

National Hurricane Center  #HurricaneSrong

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Posted by Lisa Habermehl

Duvall Homes

Media Shares Duvall News

August 24, 2018 – Duvall Homes is happy to be a part of this month’s Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce’s business publication Evolve Magazine.

Duvall HomesRead why the Daytona region is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country. With a lower cost of doing business and a highly skilled workforce, experts report that it is the perfect spot to relocate or expand your business. This is precisely why Duvall Homes selected this publication to place its 4th Annual Inspiration Gala ad! This, and to thank presenting sponsor Reames Employee Benefits Solutions, reception sponsors Florida Hospital DeLand and Florida Hospital Fish Memorial and entertainment sponsor Florida Public Utilities.

Join the community in being part of this exciting celebration before ticket prices go up Friday, September 7; the event will sell out. Watch video to learn about the live entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, fine dining and inspiring program or go to DuvallHomes.org/Inspiration-Gala.

Duvall Bargain Thrift StoreOther places you’ll find Duvall stories this month are inside Aging Tree‘s Legacy, a great resource for seniors; the West Volusia Beacon’s 50 Something tab; in the PennySaver’s* Fun & Sun section, announcing Duvall’s Bargain Store Sidewalk Sale on September 8; and displayed along Woodland Blvd. in the historic downtown business district of DeLand in the form of 16 seven-foot long two-sided banners. [Banners: Jennifer’s Smile  |  Justin’s Smile]

The staff and residents of Duvall send a sincere thank you Volusia County news outlets, including My News 13, Hometown News and Volusia Parent Magazine, who support the Duvall Homes 501c3 steadfast mission of empowering people with developmental disabilities through their provision of in-kind advertising and news coverage. We depend on it, and place great value in your recognition of the need to inform the public of the programs and services we provide to the community and the greater Central Florida region.

Thank you 2018 Inspiration Gala Sponsors

*The PennySaver was recently purchased by the Daytona Beach New-Journal

Posted by Lisa Habermehl

Duvall

Join Us For Duvall Homes 2018 Inspiration Gala

August 1 2018 – Duvall Homes‘ Board of Regents and Reames Employee Benefits Solutions presents the 2018 Inspiration Gala

Reames Employee Benefits Solutions

Duvall Homes’ fourth annual Inspiration Gala fundraiser on September 28, 2018, at the Wayne G. Sanborn Center in DeLand, FL, presented by Reames Employee Benefits Solutions, is going to have, yet again, a few amazing surprises this year. Last year’s event sold out, so be sure to mark your calendars and get your table/tickets soon to get inspired!

Duvall Homes hosted its first fundraising Gala in 2015 attended by 170 who helped raise a historic $60K. In 2016, we branded it our “Inspiration Gala” and in 2017, with a silent auction and 200 attendees, we raised close to $90K and were able to provide funding for programming, materials and community initiatives at our Opportunities Enrichment Center as well as provide our 16 group homes with generators following the great needs Hurricane Irma surfaced. This year, we have additional needs and new goals, and hope for another successful event with your support.

2017 Inspiration Gala
2017 Inspiration Gala

Florida is ranked 49th out of 50 states with respect to funding received for people with developmental disabilities. As a result, we greatly depend on our annual Inspiration Gala fundraiser, with silent auction, to help supplement our services and programs. Without provider services that Duvall offers, the health, safety and well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities are at risk in our region. Outside of the expense of medical care and room and board for our residents, Duvall Homes faces the constant challenge of providing enhanced and/or new programs and services that both meet federal mandates and improve the lives of the developmentally disabled. Furnishings for group homes, durable medical equipment, vehicles equipped for special needs, and materials to strengthen our day training program are just a few of the requirements we work to find funding for every day.  Duvall’s annual Inspiration Gala has become a relied upon vehicle to help toward this end.

Duvall Homes Florida Public UtilitiesSponsored by Florida Public Utilities, BeatleBeat a group of four talented musicians that recreate the look, style and sound of the most famous rock and roll band in the world – The Beatles – will be the main attraction at Duvall’s 2018 Inspiration Gala. [Watch Come Together to get excited.]

BeatleBeat is comprised of world class musicians who are all veterans of The Cast of Beatlemania, Legends in Concert and Disney’s British Invasion band at EPCOT. Over the years, they have performed for thousands of people all over the world.  And now, in a private setting, BeatleBeat will perform just for you – our community of Duvall supporters.

Florida Hospital DeLand FishGuests will also enjoy distinctive passed hors d’oeuvres sponsored by Florida Hospitals DeLand and Fish Memorial, cocktails and a seated dinner by Orlando’s award-winning Puff ‘N Stuff. An inspiring program will fill the evening, highlighted by Duvall achievements over the past year and a special tribute for guest honoree Rob Walsh of the County of Volusia. Returning for the second year will be our featured a 3O+ items silent auction, with gift certificates for hotel stays and Carribbean getaways, tickets to sporting events and Florida attractions, gift baskets, fine wine and inspiring limited edition works of art created at Duvall, to name just a few!

The 2018 Inspiration Gala is going to be a very special night filled with lasting experiences and many memorable inspiring moments. Learn more about Duvall Homes’ RSVP ticketed fundraiser event by visiting DuvallHomes.org/Inspiration-Gala or by reaching out to us. Share Gala Memo.

Elizabeth Bhimjee ebhimjee@duvallhomes.org 386.734.2874 x102
Lisa Habermehl lhabermehl@duvallhomes.org 386.734.2874 x116

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Posted by Lisa Habermehl

Duvall Homes

Duvall Homes Was The Best Choice

July 24, 2018 – “We moved here from Georgia because it offered the best residential care and day training we could find for our son,” said Ruby Helton, mother of Jason who moved to Duvall Homes in 2010.

The Heltons discovered the Duvall difference when they first brought Jason to DeLand, Florida, eight years ago. They recognized that Duvall seeks to provide the highest quality of life and greatest level of independence for each resident by creating an individualized plan that includes opportunities for personal growth.

Jason, like all residents of Duvall, are provided with social experiences in the group home and community, which are key to living a life of independence and dignity that is nurturing and fulfilling. Several organizations, like the National Institute of Health, report that social connections help protect health and lengthen life. Whether with family, friends, housemates, neighbors or members within your community, getting involved with others influences our wellbeing.

Duvall Homes

Being socially active in Duvall’s day training program provides additional opportunities for collective engagement. Participants are presented with varying circumstances to develop life skills and vocational skills at our Opportunities Enrichment Center.

Parents and guardians like the Heltons have turned to Duvall Homes since 1945 as they plan ahead for their own care and that of their dependent with special needs – both who are living longer.

Being close to an abundance of activities that surround us always surprises families and friends when they visit from outside of the area or state. Hidden gems like Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, Schley’s Bonsai and Deland Gardens are only 5 to 10 minutes from Duvall’s Glenwood campus. Learn more at Visit West Volusia and at DeLand Area & Community Resources. #VisitWestVolusia

Duvall HomesLearn more about the programs and services offered to people with developmental disabilities of varying abilities, by contacting Administrative Assistant, Lisa Herring, at lherring@duvallhomes.org or 386.734.2874 x119.  Lisa will put you in touch with the right support specialist to answer all of your questions so that you can discover more about #TheDuvallDifference and our 73-year-old legacy.

For state funding eligibility, contact Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities at APD.MyFlorida.org.

Posted by Lisa Habermehl

#TheDuvallDifference

Duvall Homes

The Duvall Difference

July 2, 2018 – Duvall Homes has provided residential supportive care and day training
services that empowers people who live with a developmental disability since 1945.

Today, and every day, we celebrate our families and guardians, direct support professionals and trained specialists, and our community of volunteers and sponsors, who together make up a team that defines The Duvall Difference. Because of you, we’re able to empower others to learn new skills and to earn a paycheck. Because of you, we can make a difference and an impact on the life of others in our care. 

In the coming weeks and months, please join us in sharing inspiring expressions of The Duvall Difference. Your stories help families to plan ahead and others to get involved.

Visit ImInspired.org and leave us a friendly note, or share a comment or review on our Facebook page. Here’s another photo that will surely make you smile: When you smile, we all smile.

Learn about the programs, life-skills development and vocational training services available for adults with developmental disabilities like Down syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsey and other disabilities at DuvallHomes.org/Programs-Services.

 

Posted by Lisa Habermehl

Duvall Homes

Planning Ahead For Your Loved One

June 15, 2018 – Florida’s active aging residents are familiar with the longstanding fact that Florida continues to lead the nation as the number one retirement state. We know it’s for the balmy weather and beaches, recreation, cost of living, healthcare options…, but did you know many retire here because it’s easier to care for their aging child or sibling with a development disability?

“For decades we’ve had families retire to Central Florida from other states for our residential care and day training services,” said Steven DeVane, Duvall Homes’ CEO. Aging caregivers have turned to Duvall Homes since 1945 as they plan ahead for their own care and their aging dependent with special needs – both who are living longer.

With Duvall being a short scenic drive from The Villages, John Knox Village of Central Florida, Daytona’s new Latitude Margaritaville and numerous other retirement communities, more families are taking advantage of the programs and services at Duvall’s 16 group homes and day training center.

Learn more about Duvall’s Programs & Services here. For state funding eligibility, contact Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities at APD.MyFlorida.org.

Planning Ahead Produces The Best Results: Read about a caring father who recently planned ahead and chose Duvall Homes in our 2018 Spring Newsletter in The Duvall Difference on pages 8 and 9 here. #TheDuvallDifference

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Posted by Lisa Habermehl

Weirsdale Pastor Laseter

Years of Support from Weirsdale Presbyterian Church

June 4, 2018 – Thank you to Pastor Walter Laseter and the gracious congregation of Weirsdale Presbyterian Church for their hospitality this past Sunday and for their years of dedicated support toward the mission of Duvall Homes.

We would also like to extend a thank you to Mission Coordinator Brian Farley, who was instrumental in arranging the invitation for our visit.

Pastor Laseter & Ellen, Brian Farley, Lisa habermehlMembers of the Presbyterian Church and community were apprised of how Duvall Homes transitioned from the single Duvall House that Thelma and Alanson Duvall formed in 1945 to today’s operation of 16 residential care group homes throughout the County of Volusia. Highlights of the short presentation covered current programming and services offered in Duvall’s Opportunities Enrichment Center, including contract work, which will soon take place in our newly renovated Vocational Training Center.

Weirsdale Pastor LaseterMany were surprised to learn of the critical need for trained Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) across Florida – the lowest DSP-funded state in the U.S. – to help care for the daily comfort, safety and empowerment of people with I/DDs, 24/7. Before changing legislation and government mandates took hold, members of Weirsdale Presbyterian were part of the contingency of volunteers who for years selflessly gave of their time to support  and build, create with and watch over many individuals who resided at Duvall.

During the service, everyone was elevated by the sounds of Ellen Laseter, Dr. Laseter’s wife, on the piano, who performed, among other heartfelt hymns, The Old Rugged Cross. A surprise barbershop performance took place at the end of the service as Pastor Laseter’s newly formed quartet practiced for their choir-replacement summer schedule.

Weirsdale Presbyterian ChurchIt was a delightful visit to Weirsdale; however, due the small size of Duvall’s administrative staff, it can be challenging to make all of the visits we wish we could make in and outside of the county. One thing we are always happy to do, is to share words of gratitude for the impact people have made on the hundreds of lives of individuals with developmental disabilities living in our state.

If you are an organization who has supported Duvall Homes this year, or in years past, and have a company newsletter, please let us know as we’d love to share inspiring stories and images with you and your members or employees.

Other Duvall News & Events

ImInspired.org

ADT Vocational Training

Duvall Homes’ 2018 Spring Newsletter

May 25, 2018 – Inside Duvall Homes’ 2018 Spring Newsletter, you’ll once again be connected with the inspiring stories that bind our community together. Stories like Building Opportunities That Impact Our Community give insight to the tangible benefits that result when business partners get involved with the work we do.

Duvall Homes NewsletterArticles like The Duvall Difference provide an overview of the services and personal care Duvall residents receive from Direct Support Professionals and their Support Team every single day and of a father’s discovery of these services after putting the future care of his son above all else.

We also like to highlight community news and events in each issue. Our Spring Fling; service from high school and college students; the retiring of an employee after 37 years; and the Tim Tebow Foundation‘s very special Night To Shine event are just some of the newsworthy events that took place this past quarter.

Many of our friends, families and business partners have just received Duvall’s 2018 Spring Newsletter in the mail. You can enjoy it too by clicking on the cover to flip through the digital version.

Please share the many heartwarming stories with your own family, friends and colleagues. You’d be surprised who can benefit from the many different perspectives shared. Let us know what inspires you most about this issue at ImInspired.org. #TheDuvallDifference

To receive periodic e-news from Duvall, sign up here.

Other Duvall News & Events

Evolve Magazine Daytona Chamber

Diversity in Business Includes the Developmentally Disabled

May 23, 2018 – Inside this month’s issue of the Daytona Chamber’s business publication, Evolve, readers are presented with defined perspectives and proven business practices with respect to embracing a diverse workforce. As a proud member of the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce since 2011, Duvall Homes is honored to have contributed to its Diversity in Business May 2018 issue to include the people we serve in our community.

Duvall Homes How Rich is Your Diversity

In the article How Rich is Your Diversity? (pages 32 to 35) by Lisa Habermehl, Duvall’s Director of Marketing, experiences and values are shared by business leaders in the County of Volusia, and beyond, who engage with, employ and contract people with developmental disabilities.

Decades ago, a diverse workforce meant a workforce with varying ethnicity. Today, a diverse workforce is an inclusive labor pool varied in ethnicity, gender, age and abilities, and diversity in business includes diversity in a businesses’ workforce, leadership team and its customer or client base. Successful businesses that choose to remain current and continue to grow understand the many benefits of business diversity and inclusion.

How Rich Is Your Diversity? pages 32 to 35

Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Duvall Homes I'm Inspired #iminspired

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#TheDuvallDifference

Duvall Homes Knights of Columbus

Thank you Knights of Columbus West Volusia Council #6274

May 17, 2018 – Knights of Columbus West Volusia Council 6274 Chairman, Peter Woods, stopped by Duvall Homes to deliver a generous donation of $1,171.

After discussing the many years of continuous involvement Knights of Columbus has blessed Duvall with, Elizabeth Bhimjee, Duvall’s Chief Marketing & Development Officer, took time to update Woods on recent events that have taken place on the Glenwood campus of Duvall Homes.

A sincere thank you to all who participated in the Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive and for supporting the many programs and community outings people with developmental disabilities experience in our care.

Duvall Homes I'm Inspired #iminspired

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