Gemma Calinda honors Brianna Jostlin

Brianna provides home care support for me six hours a day, five days per week. We are always talking, telling jokes, laughing. We have so much fun together! It is so important to have this kind of relationship with the person I spend so much time with, and who assists me with my basic needs. A black woman with long black hair is seated in a wheelchair wearing a black t-shirt and orange pants, joyfully swinging her arms.

With Brianna there is no awkwardness or uncomfortability. She is always professional, someone I look forward to being with, and whose care and reliability shows in every interaction. Brianna understands the essential role her support plays in my everyday life. She knows that if I am without an attendant, it means that I might have to sleep in my wheelchair, forgo a meal, not be able to use the bathroom, or worse. She always calls me first when she needs to take time off to give me as much notice as possible to find coverage. The work Brianna and other home care workers do deserves to be compensated fairly. I am proud that through my work with the New York Caring Majority, I am able to advocate for her needs as well as other home care workers in New York State. 

Photos: Shayan Asgharnia, © 2021