New career with Community Living Huntsville ‘rejuvenating’ for Direct Support Professional

2 men, one standing and holding a takeout coffee cup, and one seated in a wheelchair holding a cookie.

Kevin Cutler (left), a Direct Support Professional with Community Living Huntsville, says empowering and advocating alongside community members, like Greg, to build and strengthen their community connections has reconnected him to the community, too. Photo by Community Living Huntsville.

Kevin Cutler decided to change his life – and the lives of others – by launching a new career as a Direct Support Professional with Community Living Huntsville.

“I had seen some ads on Indeed, and the first couple of times I looked at them I thought, ‘No, I can’t do that, I’m too old,’” says the Huntsville resident. He had recently retired from a career in education followed by work as a restorative practice trainer. Remote work that started in the COVID-19 pandemic had left him feeling unfulfilled, disconnected from his community, and socially isolated. He decided it was time for a career move to prioritize his quality of life and mental health. “Too often we let what we feel to be our careers define us,” says Cutler. “Finally, I applied.” He pushed aside his hesitation around a fresh start and focused on what mattered to him. “In thinking about what I wanted to do next, my thought was, ‘I need to get out of my house and get into the community.’ That’s exactly what this role with Community Living Huntsville has done for me – and I feel like part of a team again.”

Community Living Huntsville supports and advocates alongside more than 300 people with developmental disabilities and families in North Muskoka, so they can live the lives they choose as respected, included, and contributing members of a welcoming community. Our not-for-profit organization’s team of more than 80 staff members includes Direct Support Professionals, who empower people in their homes and in their community through person-directed supports and services.

Cutler, who had experience in supporting and advocating for children and young adults with developmental and other disabilities both before and during his career in education, had a passion for empowering people in choice, rights, and opportunity.

Yet, Cutler says he was nervous on his first day as a Direct Support Professional with our Community Participation team. “I felt twice as old as everyone here. How was I going to fit in?” he says. It was a fleeting concern. He says he not only feels welcomed and included, but also revived both professionally and personally: “I wake up every day and I am so excited about coming to work because of how much fun I’m going to have, not just with my colleagues but in the community, too.”

Cutler’s role in assisting people to participate fully and meaningfully in their community has led to the same for him. “I was at Tim Hortons today with one of the people I support and a lot of the guys I play hockey with happened to be in there, too, so we all started chatting,” he says. “Or going to a Huntsville Otters game with someone I support, I ended up reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in years.” He has also been walking downtown with someone he supports when they bump into someone they know and strike up a conversation. “For years I hadn’t done that. It’s rejuvenating to a point that someone observed, ‘I haven’t seen you this happy in years’”, says Cutler. “I can do my job, which is just being present for somebody, helping them be connected, and it’s ultimately helping me be connected, too.”

Cutler notes that what makes Community Living Huntsville stand out to him as a great place to work is how positive, committed, and person-centered the staff members are. Staff work together for people who access our services. “They will do anything for the people they support. It’s about people, first,” he says.

He says the people who access our services make Community Living Huntsville a great place to work, too. “Most of the people I support, either in Supported Group Living or in Community Participation, are some of the most kind-hearted, beautiful people I have experienced, even after everything they’ve been through or are going through in their lives,” he says. “They are just so happy to be out in their community.” The people make the work meaningful. “Quite often I think to myself, if we weren’t here, what would happen to some of the people we support?” he says. “We are essential.”

Cutler notes that connection is important for everyone because connection creates agency and, ultimately, that agency forms the foundation of human dignity. “This is what we do here,” he says. “It’s not just about hanging out and helping somebody do their grocery shopping. It’s about helping a community member create connection, agency, and dignity.”

He adds that his role is also about fostering kindness in the community. “This job is my opportunity to live and experience kindness and precipitate kindness,” he says. It makes a difference for him – and for his community.

Are you looking for an exciting career that matters? Become a champion of choice and inclusion as a Direct Support Professional with Community Living Huntsville. Join a team that supports and advocates alongside more than 300 children and adults, and their families, in beautiful North Muskoka.

Our not-for-profit organization offers competitive pay, employer-paid benefits, an employee and family assistance program, ongoing training, opportunities for advancement, a positive team environment, staff wellness and social activities, and more.

Contact us at or visit to view current opportunities and apply today!

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