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CHC’s ‘Carers Eat Pizza’ Community Roundtable a Roaring Success!



On July 26th, 2018 Capital Homecare Cooperative (CHC) hosted the very first Carers Eat Pizza Community Round Table at renowned Pizzeria La Gitana of Olympia.  The event served as a fundraiser for CHC, wherein Pizzeria La Gitana generously offered to donate twenty percent of the day’s earnings to the start-up efforts of the budding new caregiver-owned agency.  The event was free to the public and open to all caregivers (regardless of agency, training or background) care receivers and interested members of the community, with a goal to meet, eat and discuss common barriers, values and goals for the care community.

The fundraiser took place during Pizzeria La Gitana’s business hours 11:30am-9pm, and the community round table event took place from 5pm-9pm.  The evening started off with an hour to order delicious pizza and drinks and network, and with a robust turnout the room was immediately buzzing with carer connection.  After about an hour CHC’s administrator and event host Nora Edge stood up to say a few words about how she came into caregiving, some barriers that she’s identified to care providers and receivers alike, and the goal of creating a round table open to all care providers.  Additional speakers included Monessa Bacon, CHC’s president of the board, and Deborah Craig, a consultant to the home care agency and a weathered care provider.

After the speakers finished,  an itinerary was shared around, as well as a questionnaire with prompts such as “What are three words that define caregiving to you?” and “What would you like to see discussed at future care community round tables?”.  Everyone present spent about fifteen to twenty minutes filling out their questionnaire.  Discussion ranged among attendees from work history, to the difference between an HCA, an IP and a CNA is, what the future of government funding and how providers would deal with that, and even to the care receiver experience.  A point that everyone agreed on was that no one should be isolated in their position- caregivers need and desire a community of support and understanding, and so do care receivers.

This was the first event of its kind to be hosted by Capital Homecare Cooperative.  Due to the success of this event and overwhelming public interest the event raised, Capital Homecare Cooperative plans to continue hosting events like it.  Keep your eyes peeled and don’t miss out on our next Carers Eat Pizza Community Round Table!

We Are Licensed!

The State of Washington approved our agency license on March 2, 2018. We can now accept clients. If you need home care or know someone who does, please consider our cooperative. We look forward to serving Thurston County!


Care-a documentary

On September 5th, at 9:00 pm, the local PBS affiliate (KCTS) will air a documentary about caregivers and the people who need home care on the show America Reframed. The film promises to discuss the many challenges faced by both the providers and receivers of home care in the US.

The film’s website states:

Care pulls back the curtain on the poignant and largely hidden world of in-home elder care.  Beautifully shot and deeply moving, the film reveals the deep bonds that form between paid care workers and elders while exposing the cracks in the U.S. care system. ”

We realize that 9:00 pm may be a bit late for people and we hope to organize a community screening as part of our efforts to launch our cooperative.

Stay tuned!

Hello world!

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to the home of Captial Homecare Cooperative!

In 2014, Olympian resident Jerry Barney became aware of inequities in the home care industry. Jerry hired caregivers to assist his wife and, due to a temporary injury, found himself in need of home care services as well. When he received the bill, he realized that while the agency charges him significantly (almost double) for the caregiver providing services for two people in the same household, the caregiver only received a couple of dollars more in wages. He had heard about worker-owned agencies such as Cooperative Care in Wautoma, Wisconsin, and Circle of Life in Bellingham, Washington. He thought it might be time for Olympia’s caregivers to have their own co-op too.

Jerry discovered Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NWCDC) in Olympia and worked with them through his new organizations Homecare Cooperative Foundation (HCF). They brought in Care Connection, a home care registry with Senior Services. These three groups and individual caregivers began holding regular meetings about how worker-ownership and partnership with the registry might create a better environment for consumers and providers of home care services.

By the fall of 2015, the three organizations held a couple of information sessions for Thurston County’s caregivers. Over 30 caregivers expressed initial interest and a steering committee was formed to begin the work of creating a new cooperative. There was some turnover of the steering committee due to a number of different issues. One of the most important commodities is time. By spring 2016, the committee had drafted articles of incorporation and bylaws. In August 2016, Capital Homecare Cooperative incorporated with the State of Washington.

After incorporating, the steering committee became the interim board of directors. There were some more staffing changes as people joined and others took a break. Creating a cooperative is more of a marathon than a sprint and sometimes it is a relay race!

Today, the board consists of four caregivers and others who assist with events. The board is working on fundraising, marketing, and the licensing process.  The goal is to become licensed and be able to begin operations in the fall of 2017. There is still a lot of work to do before the cooperative becomes a reality but the end is in sight.

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