More Than a Service Provider

Jim and Scott

You know there is something amazing going on when a 27-year-old talks about a 61-year-old as his best friend.

But that’s what Scott Biehler says about Jim Wise, the man he supports.

Jim was receiving services at a Mosaic group home in Fort Collins. Scott was a part-time worker who got to know him. The two shared a love of football, silly jokes and insults (think ‘lewd, crude, rude bag of pre-chewed food dude’ from “Hook”), and just hanging out having fun.

Scott says the two of them share the same personality.

When Jim was young, before a car accident left him in a coma-like state for nearly 20 years, he was an athlete who played baseball, skied and was a champion rodeo cowboy planning to be a veterinarian. Scott is a high-energy, creative, soon-to-be-married tri-athlete.

A while back, when they made the decision in Colorado to transition as many people into host homes as possible, Jim was one of those people. And Scott became his provider.

Watching the two, you’d think you were watching two good buddies. When asked about his job, Scott once said that he figures he’s retired and just gets to hang out all day with his best friend.

The two keep active, doing the things friends do – they talk sports and watch them on TV, eat out regularly (every Monday they’re at a local ribs joint), they grill out and have friends over to the house.

Recently Scott took Jim skiing. It was the first time Jim had been on the slopes in 40 years. Scott pushes Jim in a specially made jogger when he runs races and so far they’ve competed in more than 50 of them.

They also work to improve Jim’s skills. Scott makes it fun by doing things like shooting a Nerf gun or playing catch with Velcro mitts. They work on speech by doing their own version of a sing-a-long (Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” seems to be a favorite) and by helping Jim create and use conversation starting cards with questions for others.

When asked about why he chose this life, Scott said, “(I’m) very strong-hearted. I know I can carry a load for two. Since he can’t do everything, I know that I’m strong enough that I can carry it for him.”

Truly, something amazing is happening.

Learn more about the host home model.

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