Fall 2020
Xmas tree
We’re hiring! 

Give us a call at 937-461-4300 or visit placesinc.org/careers.html and fill out an application.

How We're Keeping Safe

How We’re Keeping Safe Since our last issue, Montgomery County has opened up many public spaces and businesses. Yet the threat of COVID-19 remains fierce. 

PLACES continues to emphasize self-care to keep residents of group homes safe, reminding them to use masks when they leave the facility. Temperature checks are performed every time someone returns home. 

As users of public transportation, clients and tenants are at higher risk of infection when they attend workshops or meet with counselors. They, too, are reminded to wear masks and practice social distancing. 

PLACES would like to thank the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services board and the Homeless Solutions Policy Board for the free PPE both have provided. 

“Our staff has undertaken Herculean efforts to keep our people safe,” said executive director Roy Craig. These include the purchase of electrostatic disinfection sprayers for each facility and the installation of Plexiglass and shower curtains inside vehicles, with intensified cleaning regimens after use.

New Manager at Randolph House

Jennifer EckJennifer Eck has joined PLACES as manager of the Randolph House adult care facility. A licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant (CDCA), Jennifer worked most recently as a therapist-assessor at Cornerstone in Dayton. 

Jennifer began her career working in operations for various financial institutions, including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and UBS Financial Services. She embarked on her career in social work by serving as a youth worker for Lighthouse Youth Services, a case manager at Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Centers in Lebanon, and Thinking for a Change in Dayton. She received an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Sinclair Community College in 2016 and served there as both a clinician and adjunct facilitator-administrator at Sinclair. Prior to Cornerstone, she was a program manager for ViaQuest in Cincinnati.

New Medical Biller Hired
Michele Hanson

Michele Hanson recently joined PLACES as a medical biller. Originally from Orange County, California, Michele graduated from UEI College in Anaheim in medical billing. She worked for Clean Path Recovery in Costa Mesa before moving to Dayton several years ago to be closer to family. 

Prior to joining PLACES, Michele worked as a Medicare enrollment specialist for CareSource and in medical billing for Alternate Solutions HomeCare, where she also did referral writing. 

Michele is responsible for billing insurance claims, investigating and resolving issues, then rebilling insurers. She is currently attending Sinclair Community College to study accounting. 

In her spare time, Michele is an avid football fan whose favorite team is the Baltimore Ravens. She also enjoys playing MLB 9Innings 20 on her smartphone.

Holiday Parties Take a New Approach 

Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on our community, PLACES has postponed its annual group Holiday Party for clients, residents and tenants. Instead, we’ll be catering private parties at our adult care facilities and other housing sites just for the people who live there. 

While we will miss seeing everyone, this is a safer plan to help protect the men and women in our care. 

If you are interested in being one of our Holiday Party supporters, please contact Kathy Nickell at 937-461-4300. 

Consider becoming a diamond ($4,000), platinum ($2,000), gold ($1,000), silver ($500) or bronze ($250) sponsor to help us supply holiday cheer in what has been a very difficult year for our residents, clients, tenants and staff. Your tangible support means so much to all of us.  

Managing Change During COVID-19


Change has been front and center since the onset of the pandemic. One way of coping with new trends in remote and in-person work, job security, social isolation and communication is through resilience.

By Director of Clinical Services Brian Wlodarczyk, LISW-S 

An article from the American Psychological Association (APA) defined resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress.” These might include family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. 

While we often think of resilience as bouncing back from life’s challenges, it can also provide the impetus to move us forward. The APA article suggests that finding ways to cope with change may indeed involve profound personal growth. It gave the following strategies for building resilience in times of difficulty: 

» Build your connections: prioritize relationships, join a group. 

» Foster wellness: take care of your body, practice mindfulness, avoid negative outlets. 

» Find purpose: help others, be proactive, move toward your goals, look for opportunities for self-discovery. 

» Embrace healthy thoughts: keep things in perspective, accept change, maintain a hopeful outlook, learn from your past. 

» Seek help: reach out to friends and family, seek professional help when needed. 

Source: American Psychological Association. (2020, Feb 1). Building your resilience. https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience

Two Appointed to PLACES Board of Trustees

Andy Storar
Andy Storar

Andy Storar is returning to the board of PLACES Inc. after serving 16 years previously, including 6 years as president. “I am very happy to have been recently elected to rejoin that Board and assist in promoting its fine mission,” he said.

After graduating from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1981, Andy joined the law firm of Pickrel, Schaeffer and Ebeling LLC, where he served 20 years as chair of the litigation group and six years as president of the firm. He retired after 40 years with the firm this May.

Andy has been active in his profession and the community at large, serving 16 years on the Board of YMCA Camp Kern and 9 years on the Kettering Education Foundation, including 6 as president. He served 22 years on the Council of Delegates of the Ohio State Bar Association and nine years on the Board of the Ohio State Bar Foundation, where he was named president in 2017. He has also served three years as a trustee of the Dayton Bar Association. Storar was recently appointed to the Development Committee of the Dayton Foundation.

Andy and his wife Pam have three children and three grandchildren.

Graig Tuschong
Graig Tuschong

Also joining the board is Graig Tuschong, who currently serves as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley (GESMV). Graig has been with GESMV for five years and oversees the organization’s financial, information technology and safety departments. Graig is a CPA (inactive), a graduate of the University of Dayton in 2001, and a graduate of Leadership Dayton Class of 2020.

In his free time, Graig enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. His family enjoys hiking, running, various sports, and Dayton Flyers basketball.

Tips for TIC: Advice for Providing Trauma-Informed Care

The traumas that individuals experience may be connected to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture or gender. At PLACES, we strive to view our residents, clients and tenants with a trauma-informed lens as we provide services to them.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) recently funded a policy brief by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio titled Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – Health Impact of ACEs in Ohio. The report indicates that people of color experience more trauma than others. 

 As we think about diversity, equity and inclusion as a society, it is important to understand that trauma impacts marginalized groups of individuals disproportionately. Honoring cultural traditions and ethnic celebrations is one way to recognize the many contributions and rich histories of the populations that make up the United States. 

As we enter into this holiday season, let’s appreciate the diversity of our community’s culture as fellow citizens celebrate days that honor their traditions.


Hispanic Heritage Week began in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and was later extended to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month ran Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.


November is National Native American Heritage Month, which celebrates the history and contributions of Native Americans. The Friday after Thanksgiving (this year Nov. 27) is Native American Heritage Day, which encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe and honor Native Americans through appropriate ceremonies and activities. The day was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2008.

Nov. 14: Diwali – the Hindu, Jain and Sikh five-day festival of lights – celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and lightness over darkness.

Nov. 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance, established in 1998 to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and to raise awareness of the continued violence endured by the transgender community.


Dec. 1: World AIDS Day commemorates those who have died of AIDS and acknowledges the need for a continued commitment to all those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 

Dec. 3: International Day of Disabled Persons is designed to raise awareness of persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity. 

Dec. 10: International Human Rights Day, established by the United Nations in 1948, commemorates the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Dec. 10-18: Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated around the world for eight days and nights. Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees, or Israelites, over the Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus approximately 2,200 years ago.  

Tangy Court Tenant Shares Her Spirit

We hope you enjoy this uplifting poem/song from one of our PLACES tenants at Tangy Court Permanent Supportive Housing. We’re just waiting until someone sets it to music!

I Am Here Forever  

Came to be all I can be
Serious until eternity
Looking to the light
Searching for things and people bright 

While staying together
I am here forever
No matter the weather
I am here forever 

Keeping my mind focus
I go around praying and hoping
There will be a better day,
while I am still coping 


Push come to shove
I appreciate Lord, your love
As quiet as it’s kept
I just want to thank you for your help 


Even though time goes on
I know I won’t go wrong
I’m expressing myself
in this song 


Through whatever as bygones be bygones
I know I will never be alone
Eye to eye, through winter, summer, spring and fall
Surviving through it all 


With all my might
I will hold on tight
To what I believe
That anything I can achieve
By all my good deeds 


Good deeds outweigh my bad deeds
No matter what race I am,
ethnic background or creed
Fountain of youth keeps me intact
To be real and pure where I’m at 

While staying together
I am here forever
No matter the weather
I am here forever 

 Name withheld for confidentiality © May 30, 2020