Aspire is excited to announce that Matt Green was awarded the MITC 2021 Hero Award First Prize on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

Matt Green is not your usual direct support professional (DSP). In fact, he’s a Behavior Analyst in New Hampshire who usually supports DSPs to help individuals learn new skills to replace behaviors that aren’t serving them well. All that changed during the pandemic when an individual experiencing significant behavioral challenges was about to become homeless.

This individual had lived with a temporary provider for two years while we tried to find a well matched and trained home provider who could take over on a permanent basis. While we had some good prospects, each time the arrangement fell through. The situation became more and more difficult, and the provider finally left, exhausted from two years of intense effort.

We were arranging for 24-hour emergency staffing, most likely at a hotel, when Matt stepped forward. The individual didn’t have a home, and Matt’s home was not suitable. Matt then leased a home on his own and changed his legal address. They moved in together and began a two-month journey that had a great outcome.

Matt was able to trial some new approaches to support the person because he was there continuously. He worked tirelessly to provide highly preferred activities and enjoyable social interactions, even as he worked to prevent high levels of self-injury. He coordinated the efforts of the relief staff and ensured they were properly trained to keep the individual as safe and as engaged as possible.

Because of Matt’s commitment, our understanding of the individual’s needs increased substantially. As a result, new providers were identified who were well matched and well trained to provide effective support. Since that time, the individual has calmed, is now participating in a wide variety of community activities, and has begun to heal from his extensive self-injury. Matt’s efforts were life-changing.

This wasn’t the only individual who benefited from Matt’s expertise during the pandemic. When the pandemic stay-at-home orders were issued, Matt recognized right away that not only would staying at home be challenging for some, but that many were going to find leaving their homes difficult when the time came to return to community activities. He worked with teams from the beginning to help them think though the best strategies for everyone to plan ahead and make these transitions successful. While we relieved Matt of his other responsibilities during his time as a provider, he continued to touch base about others in difficulty and remained an active team member.

Like so many incredibly dedicated members of the Aspire community, Matt is truly committed to the success of each person he supports, even when that requires great personal sacrifice. Thank you Matt, and congratulations on a well-deserved honor!

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Matt Green awarded the MITC 2021 Hero Award First Prize