Chris Shwaluke has been working at St.Amant for over 20 years. He’s been a Keyworker at a community residential home since 2006.
“I’m still with St.Amant after all these years because I love my job—which for me, is more than just a job,” says Chris. “It’s rewarding and it makes me proud.”
Chris started working as a Keyworker at a St. Vital community residential home when the house first opened in 2006. He’s the only Keyworker the house has ever known. This has provided the people he supports with consistency, stability and closeness.
“A lot of the people we support thrive on pattern,” says Marc McOuat, Team Leader at St.Amant. “They can have anxiety if they don’t know which staff member is coming in for the day. It takes them a long time to trust staff and to open up to them. The longer we work with the people we support, the better we get to know them, their interests, their hobbies, what makes them happy, what makes them upset. Consistency helps people we support get comfortable in their own home and become better self-advocates.”
Marc has supervised Chris for just over 10 years. “He’s always willing to go the extra mile,” says Marc. “He never complains about picking up an overnight shift or covering for someone when we really need it. He understands that we are an essential service and we’re here for the people we support.”
Chris’s passion to help people with disabilities comes from having an uncle with Down Syndrome. “He showed me a different perspective on life,” says Chris. “He’s the reason I do what I do.”