ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester Mayor Kim Norton is recognizing this week as Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week. DSP's are caregivers who support people who have disabilities.
Mayor Norton said it's so important these caregivers are supported because they help people with their everyday living skills offering a hand both mentally and physically. She explained these dedicated professionals frequently are not paid enough for the work they do and that's something the she has been concerned about for awhile now. Every year, there's a week dedicated to DSP's, but Mayor Norton said honoring these pros shouldn't be limited to just one week. "These are people, whether you have a physical or a mental disability, that are providing really personal care for individuals," said Mayor Norton. "Of course, you want to know that person who is seeing you perhaps at your most vulnerable. You want to be able to know and trust them. So these are really important caregivers. These are a really important part of our community's workforce and a growing need frankly."
Some people with disabilities are more vulnerable to COVID-19, so the past few months have been a challenge making sure they don't get sick, but also aren't feeling too isolated. "It's really, really important that they are protected from COVID-19, which means more isolation," explained Mayor Norton. "So the need for caregivers is great. The ones I know are deeply caring people who give so much of themselves to care for someone else and often aren't reimbursed at a level that really lets them know how important that work is." KIMT did a quick job search for Direct Support Professionals in Rochester and according to Indeed.com there are more than 30 open positions, dtarting anywhere between $13 to $15 an hour.
Mayor Norton will be issuing a proclamation on Tuesday, formally dedicating this week to DSP's. If you would like to watch that event, it'll be happening through Zoom starting at 11 a.m.