Communities of Strength Spotlight: Joy Hutcherson of ARC Lends a Helping Hand

For the past three years, ARC staffer Joy Hutcherson has been visiting regularly with her neighbor, who is in her 80s.

Joy Hutcherson of ARC

Her neighbor’s son is her caregiver, and he relies on Joy to look after his mom when he has to run to the grocery store or run an errand.

“A lot of times I offer to sit with them,” says Joy. “They don’t get a lot of visitors. She’s on hospice care.”

Her neighbor has a beautiful yard filled with “all types of flowers,” Joy says. Joy sits on the front porch to talk about flowers with her neighbor, brings her meals, and bakes for her (think banana pudding and strawberry pound cake).

Joy has spent most of her career working with vulnerable populations, from children who have experienced the loss of parents through neglect, to helping older adults maintain safety and independence in their homes. At ARC, where she’s worked for four years, Joy screens older adults for in-home services and monitors service providers.

Seeing what her neighbor and her son go through has made her understand how hard it is to be a caregiver.

“Caregivers don’t really ask for help,” Joy says. “A lot of caregivers feel like they’re not doing enough. I’ve learned to volunteer my services a lot of the time because they won’t ask.”

Arin Yost

Arin is a Program Analyst at the Atlanta Regional Commission, where his work focuses on health disparities and equity across the Atlanta region.