OLEAN, NY – Linda Manross’ Intandem office is full of trinkets and pictures from the people she has connected with over the decades.
Those trinkets and photos illustrate Manross' longtime commitment to helping people, which began when she volunteered for Special Olympics as a high school student.
“I knew that I wanted to work with people,” said Manross, who is vice president for clinical and residential services at Intandem.
Manross' workplace, on the corner of Buffalo Street and Constitution Avenue, had been long been known as The Rehabilitation Center, until a recent merger with Niagara County’s Opportunities Unlimited.
Her career spans 32 years. Intandem supports 18 group homes, and Manross is responsible for 15 of them. She explained that group homes are where people with disabilities get to live together and learn as much independence as possible.
She is also in charge of Intandem's Article 16 clinic, which offers clinical services, including rehabilitation, medical care and health care, to people who have disabilities as well as to their caregivers and the staff, who help them live in their residential settings and improve their quality of life.
Although Manross is so busy with administrative responsibilities, she tries to stay hands on with her work. She said she misses beings hands on all the time, but her main goal remains helping people and making connections.
Out of all the connections she has made over the years, she lists one resident who always will be extra special to her: Inez.
“I’ve known Inez since Day One, December 16, 1987, and we just connected,” she said.
Manross added that after a few years of knowing Inez, she became her advocate.
Inez became so close with Manross that she is considered part of her family and she goes to Manross’s home for holidays. Manross recalled Inez painting her daughters’ nails and said she watches movies with her family and bakes cookies with her granddaughter.
“Our relationship really is such unconditional love," Manross said. "She gives that to not only me but to my family members as well.”
A glimpse into Manross' office or any conversation with her makes it clear that she is all about helping people – not just the people she is close with but everyone she meets.
Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox.