By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Joel Bain has always felt a call to public service.
For 17 years he fulfilled that aspiration as a Midwest City firefighter.
Now he is continuing that service in a different way as executive director of the Mid-Del Group Home.
“For me to have a second career where I can give back to the community and serve others is incredible,” Bain said. “I don’t think I could’ve found a better fit.”
The Mid-Del Group Home provides residential and vocational services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The non-profit organization was founded in 1983. Today, they operate four group homes as well as a workshop, located at 1540 Republic Circle,where men and women can earn a living.
“I hope we can facilitate their needs and make them feel like they’re as much a part of our community as anybody,” Bain said.
Mid-Del Group Home has contracts with Century Martial Arts and Blusource School Supplies for assembly work. They produce more than 4,000 sand bags a day that are used in a variety of Century’s punching bags and equipment. Residents assemble pre-made school supply kits. Residents also help clean park pavilions for Midwest City and Choctaw.
Bain wants to continue the great work done by the Mid-Del Group Home while also improving the organization in the future. Two of his main goals include raising money to replace vans used to transport residents and upgrading technology.
Bain said they need to replace five of the six vans within the next few years. The vans are used to transport residents to and from work as well as other outings. Residents work at the shop from 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. A driver brings them back and forth every day.
“Without good transportation we can’t get our residents from home to the workshop and to where else they need to go,” Bain said.
He also wants to upgrade technology at the workshop. One of the most pressing areas is employee time cards and record keeping. Employees kept track of time cards and production by hand.
“Our residents are paid by the number of units they produce and everything is a different rate,” Bain said. “So our staff has to keep track of all of that. And we would really like to streamline things.”
The Mid-Del Group Home is planning its third annual Run, Walk or Roll for Independence fundraiser on Aug. 28. All proceeds from the 5k and fun run will help the Mid-Del Group Home. For more information, visit www.mdgh.org/run-walk-or-roll.
Bain grew up in Midwest City. He majored in special education at East Central University and was a third-generation firefighter. His father and grandfather both served in Midwest City Fire Department.
He retired from the fire department in January 2020. He worked for the Mid-Del Technology Center for a year before being hired with the Mid-Del Group Home.
Bain replaces Lori Jordan who stepped down to spend more time with her family.
For more information visit www.mdgh.org or call (405) 732-8568.