Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass – Summers Bell
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - It’s not always easy to help someone who may not recognize how or why they need it—and after 20 years in human resources, Houston County’s supervisor of Adult Protective Resources, Summers Bell knows this all too well.
Bell’s job is to provide safety, support and tangible items to clients—many of whom live with physical and mental impairments and substance abuse—but she’s constantly thinking of ways to go the extra mile helping others both on and off the job, making her the perfect candidate for “Silent Heroes.”
Many people don’t know what they want to be when they grow up—but the path to human resources was easy for Summers Bell.
“My parents taught me your life is how you serve others, I thought this is a very tangible way of doing this,” said Bell.
It’s a role that rarely keeps her behind a desk.
“Our day could be a mix of spending time in court, talking to doctors to get assessments for clients, in clients homes assessing needs, safety, we work a lot with hospitals, local rescue agencies, its never boring around here.”
It’s a job Bell obviously finds satisfying, however it’s not always easy.
“The most challenging part is not being able to help everyone. Not everyone is always in a place where they want to be helped.”
Bell knows though that sometimes persistence is key—and the pantry and closet her department keeps stocked can be a useful tool in opening doors.
“They are afraid, they’re afraid they’re going to be removed from their home they’re afraid their independence is going to be taken from them. They are resistant because they’re upset. When I can bring a bag of food to my client’s door, it builds that trust, it changes the relationship.”
Bell also urges the community that if they see something, to say something.
“So many times, when people didn’t know what to do ‘oh we were worried about our neighbor we were worried about our aunt we thought she was being exploited we knew she needed some more help at home, but we didn’t know who to call? We want people to know they can call DHR.”
Bell says they are always in need of donations.
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