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Foundation Communities Nursing Program is a Recipe for Recovery for Arbor Terrace Resident

February 6, 2024 | Posted in Health, Housing |

For Amplify Austin this year, we’re featuring residents who are finding success with help from supportive services offered by Foundation Communities. Please donate to our Amplify Austin campaign here, and help us continue to fund these services. 

A resident of Arbor Terrace, Richard McNatty says when he moved in more than a decade ago, he thought all he needed was a place to live. He had no idea how important our Supportive Services nursing program would be for him.

From his origins in rural New York to working the railroads in Minnesota, to Montana where he co-owned a restaurant, Richard’s journey is as diverse as his cooking skills. Landing in Austin with dreams of attending culinary school, financial barriers dashed his goals. In 2012, Richard was struggling to make ends meet in a minimum wage kitchen job and was facing homelessness when a serendipitous encounter connected him with Foundation Communities.

In 2016, Richard was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer but triumphed through treatment and remains in remission. During his recovery, he was referred to the Supportive Services team nurse, Rita DeBellis who he fondly refers to as his “guardian angel.” Nurse Rita continues to go to medical appointments with Richard. She takes detailed notes, which she uses to remind Richard of all the doctor’s orders and to keep Richard’s sister informed about his condition.

“The best part about living at Arbor Terrace is getting to visit with Nurse Rita,” said Richard. “She keeps me on track.”

Collaborating for years with the team’s therapist has also enriched Richard’s personal growth and self-awareness. He says he’s feeling better these days and his tasty baked goodies have made him a favorite among both the staff and residents. Richard McNatty’s story is one of resilience, community and a passion for life and cooking!