Josie Hatuey recently joined the Adult Family Care program at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services as our new Bilingual Outreach Specialist. Josie grew up in both Lawrence and Boston. His family is from southern Puerto Rico. After graduating from Madison Park High School in Roxbury, Josie finished his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts–Boston in 2002.
Between 1996 – 2002, while he was working full time and was also a full time student, Josie’s life changed when his mother was diagnosed with dementia. Josie was working with Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) in the South End as Deputy Director. Along with other ABCD and community leaders, Josie led a campaign to save Cathedral Public Housing, where a majority of the residents were elderly. The Hope IV plan to demolish and convert the Cathedral development to mixed income housing was successfully defeated.
Returning to his background and training in education, Josie worked as Director of Academic Support Services at the Urban College of Boston. The College’s focus is on early childhood education, with more than 50% of the student body being middle aged Latina women. When Josie was still working at the College, he took a part time job at an assisted living facility in Roxbury as a weekend cook on a per diem basis. He took this job because he wanted to learn about how to work with older adults struggling with dementia. Josie enjoyed working directly with the older residents and decided that he wanted to change his career and continue to work directly with clients. This is eventually how Josie found the Adult Family Care program at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services.
“I took this job because I wanted to help out folks who don’t know what services are available to them. Specifically, there are a lot of elderly Latinos who live at home with their families and need the kind of assistance and services that the Adult Family Care program offers. If I had known about Home Care or the AFC program, it would have saved my mom and me a lot work and headaches. I had to leave her for 10 or 11 hours a day so that I could work and study to support her. Now I have the opportunity to bring awareness of these services to the Spanish-speaking community in the Greater Boston area, and I look forward to extending assistance to those folks who really need it.”