A conversation with…Kyle Senk, Avalon Residential Support Specialist

By: Avalon Housing

In February, Kyle Senk celebrated his one year anniversary of working at Avalon!  He started as a part-time RSS (Residential Support Specialist) and transferred to full-time RSS working midnights at our Ashley house in January 2021.

Can you describe your typical work day?

I start each shift in the same way.  I read notes from the previous shift, connect with staff about what needs to be done, check the hot phone to see if anything requires my attention, and prepare medications that need to be passed.

I  feel that working the midnight shift can be pretty relaxing.  I feel really comfortable working at Ashley.  I think the tenants are pretty cool.  Stressful situations can arise, but I feel supported by other Avalon staff, and I feel there is good support to handle situations that come up.

What is the best thing about working at Avalon?

One of the things I like about working at Avalon is that people are mindful.  I feel that people at the Ashley house are prepared for any issue that may come up on a given day.  I think there are good policies and procedures in place that provide instruction on how to deal with issues. I feel that these things make my job pretty straight forward.  I really enjoy the people I work with and the residents.  I like that providing housing for homeless people is a good cause.  

What gives you inspiration?

I have wanted to be a social worker since high school.  I have worked through my own challenges, and I want to do my part to help other people.  I know that I can’t save the world but I have the ability to impact people locally in a positive way.  My philosophy is to start wherever you are at and build from there.  Good things can happen from impacting the people around you.  

What are your hobbies?

With a smile, Kyle revealed that he likes to play video games.  His favorite game is Super Smash Brothers.

I plan to take more walks in 2021.  I come from a family of athletes.  My sister, mom and I have created an exercise challenge to help keep each other moving to reach our fitness goals. I am trying to walk 10 flights of stairs a day plus getting in 10,000 steps!  That is about 5 miles a day!

What have you been doing to get through these strange COVID times?

It is hard not seeing friends and being able to hang out with people during COVID.  To keep myself busy I like to watch YouTube videos, Netflix, Hulu and keep up to date on the news.  

One of my favorite things to do after working a midnight shift is to go to a diner for breakfast.   Denny’s never disappoints.  I stay away from the eggs and recommend ordering french toast!  I-hops is another standby that is good.   

Fun facts about Kyle:  

Kyle once built a computer!  

Kyle loves to travel.  Hands down the favorite place he has visited is Paris.

He is the proud owner of Giovanni, an adorable tabby cat that goes by Gio.  Gio loves belly rubs and loves to be adored.  One of her favorite things is eating treats and hanging out with Kyle.

What advice would you give a newly hired RSS?

My advice would be to never be afraid to ask questions.  The more you know about your job the better you will be at it.  It is important to read tenants’ Individualized Plan of Service (IPOS) to know what residents want and need.  It helps direct the way I approach my work with them.   

It is also good to have an open mind about the environment you are working in.  Being mindful about your work and open is key to doing well in the position. 

Jennifer Fitzpatrick