By Kim Hansen, Director of Human Resources

kim as clown

I’m the clown on the left!

I came to Hammer 36, yes thirty six, years ago as a student intern. I was fresh out of college with a zest for life, new ideas to share and wanting to make a difference in the world. Well, more than three and a half decades later, my zest isn’t as zesty and fresh ideas need a little cold water to revive them once in a while. However, I am still making a difference in my end of the world and continue to enjoy coming to work every day.

I started at Hammer hoping to gain real world experience to go along with my degree in social work. I also knew I wanted to help people live wonderful lives filled with opportunities. Today, I am still here to help the amazing individuals we serve, and I have a lot of fun doing it! Although I am no longer in direct care, my goal is still the same: to provide those we serve opportunities to live their lives to the fullest. As Director of Human Resources, I do this by assuring we hire and retain the best people possible to provide the highest possible quality of care and support.

kim with childOne memory I will never forget is from my very early days at Hammer. A family was moving their son into the dorms and they were so sad to be “giving him away” to us. They started to cry and soon enough we were all crying. I remember telling them that they could come anytime, day or night, to see their son and not to worry because we would take great care of him. Ever since then, I always do my best to remember that each person we serve is someone’s son, daughter or sibling and we must care for them as family.

kim in tux

I’m far right, and 4 out of the 6 of us still work at Hammer.

Over the years, most of what I strive for has remained the same – specifically the pursuit of quality at the highest level and the desire to be number one in our field. I enjoy coming to work each and every day to make this happen. Even through challenging times I still look forward to the work at hand. Making a difference and helping others gets me up day after day (that and being able to laugh and have fun doing what I love).

Kim collage

The people, Hammer employees and those we serve alike, make every day worth it. I have really grown up with a core group of employees. We were hired at about the same time, got married, had children, have grandchildren and one day we will all retire (not all at once). Likewise, I have seen many people we support go from struggling young adults to individuals thriving with the care they need to live fully, independent lives.

I have dedicated my career to Hammer and would do it again gladly. Not everyone gets to have fun coming to work every day for 36 years. Plus, I get to see many deserving individuals have their dreams come true because of the great staff supporting them – staff that I have had a hand in bringing to Hammer. When we, as staff, have fun, the people we support have fun too. And, It’s been 36 years and counting!