Frontline Workers at Skill Builders Continue Work to Help Area Youth

Organization bridges the gap in care for Hampton Roads’ younger population

Sabrina Sibley has spent the past 30 years helping teenagers and young adults. COVID-19 isn’t going to change that.

“We make changes where we need to,” she said, “but we don’t stop helping the people who depend on us. Life is a daily battle, now we just add this pandemic to the list.”

Sibley is the senior case manager at Skill Builders Independent Living, where kids ages 16 to 21 can find a safe and nurturing place to transition from foster care to living on their own. The program offers housing, education and skill development with the goal of self-sufficiency.

When COVID-19 hit, staff had to make adjustments. But, as frontline workers, they still had to carry on – meeting with the residents, taking them to their jobs and appointments and administering daily care, as needed.

Sibley manages two apartment-style homes, 12 residents and four case managers. They have taken precautions like wearing gloves and face masks as well as practice social distancing. In addition, Sibley has instituted her own measures.

“We talk through our feelings and fears with each other,” Sibley said. “We help each other stay optimistic about the future and we take it day-by-day.”

Sibley, who has been at Skill Builders for seven years, has an extensive background helping youth. She spent 17 years working in residential treatment centers for teens and she worked part time at a youth detention center.

“I have a knack to help young adults – it’s in my heart,” Sibley said. “I got it from my mother. She loved to help older adults, and I saw how much she meant to people. I wanted to do the same.”

For more information about Skill Builders Independent Living visit https://skill-builders.net or call 757-233-2896.

Sabrina’s Stress Tips

  • Talk about your feelings
  • Be supportive of each other
  • Do something fun – and laugh
  • Make connections through letters, social media and with your immediate family
  • Play games
  • Pray or meditate
  • Get outside, go for a walk or ride
  • Listen to music
  • Watch the sun rise or set

CDC COVID Stress Relief

  • Take breaks from watching or listening to the news
  • Stretch or meditate
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid alcohol or drugs
  • Make time to unwind

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