“Confident,” “amazing work ethic,” and “friendly.” These are just a few of the words that describe Jose “Joe” Vargas. As a consumer of The Center’s Long Term Care Services for over 15 years, Joe has been active in several programs including Host Home Companion Care program and Employment Connections.

The Center came highly recommended by a family member whose son had received services. “When Joe first started the program, he was young, very shy, and didn’t like talking to others,” said Jose Vargas, Joe’s father. “He would stay cooped up in the house for hours on end. The Employment Connections program really helped him come out of his shell,” he added.

Through Employment Connections, Joe became employed by the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk where he currently works as a kitchen steward. “As a steward, I oversee making sure the kitchen is ready,” Joe said. “I do everything from washing the kitchen pots, pans and dishes to sweeping and mopping the floors. I prepare the kitchen for the cooks and servers so they can do their jobs. Since working at the Marriott, my bosses have shown me how to complete certain tasks, and then I train the new team members. I like meeting and helping the new members of our team feel welcomed. When my bosses take a day off, I get to run the show,” he added.

Alyssa Short, CHCS provider monitor and case manager says, “Joe has an amazing work ethic. He loves his job and works very hard there. Joe is very proud and takes pride in his job. Another great thing about Joe is that he doesn’t see people for their disabilities. Even though Joe is seen by his colleagues as a ‘pretty cool guy’ at work, he treats everyone with dignity and respect. Joe always makes everyone feel welcomed.”

Joe is currently in the Employment Connections program where he receives assistance with job sustainability. Additionally, the program helped him learn how to save money. “The program has helped me save money to buy my own car and other fun stuff too,” said Joe.

With the assistance Joe has received through the Long Term Care program, he is able to live a full life and participate in various hobbies and activities like deep-sea fishing with his father in Rockport, Texas, or going on a cruise to Cancun with family friends. “CHCS has helped Joe and our family a lot,” said Jose. “From helping him learn little tasks like tying a knot for the fishing line, to learning how to save money for big expenses, or how to cook and care for himself; CHCS programs have helped him become more responsible. He is more confident, and we have seen the changes in our son first-hand,” he added.