Emmaus will host an all-employee picnic Saturday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m. at Creve Coeur Park in honor of continuing the celebration of National Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week.

The executive team will speak at the event to honor the work of direct support professionals who provide services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community.

“Our direct support professionals are hard-working, dedicated men and women, who sacrifice a lot to support the people with disabilities we serve,” said Cindy Clark, Emmaus Homes president and CEO. “Medicaid reimbursement rates make it challenging to pay the wages they deserve, so we have found a few other ways to show our appreciation.”

In addition to the picnic, Emmaus surprised over 500 direct support professionals with gifts and acknowledged five exceptional individuals through social media during the week.

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is part of the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) National Advocacy Campaign, whose mission is to enhance the lives of all people with disabilities who rely on long-term supports and services by obtaining the resources to recruit, train and retain a highly qualified and sustainable workforce.

“DSP Recognition Week is one way we try to say thank you to the people who turn the intentions of our laws and regulations written to provide opportunities for people with disabilities into actions,” said Barbara Merrill, CEO of ANCOR. “It’s also a very important reminder to our legislators and policymakers that this workforce is essential, and their wages and training deserve attention as states set rates for IDD services.”

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is celebrated annually across the country with special events and ceremonies like these earmarked to honor the tens of thousands of workers who enable people with intellectual, developmental and other significant disabilities and their families to live healthy lives in their communities.

Several states have issued proclamations declaring the week of Sept. 10-16 as the 2017 National Direct Support Recognition Week.

About Emmaus

Emmaus Homes is a faith-based nonprofit that provides 24-hour residential care and other services to more than 275 adults with developmental disabilities throughout St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin and Warren counties.

Founded in 1893, the mission of Emmaus Homes is to enhance the quality of life for individuals with cognitive, intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

Emmaus Homes is a United Way organization and one of the state’s largest private providers of 24-hour residential services to adults with developmental disabilities.

Emmaus has more than 700 employees and 1,200 volunteers.