Community Living

OPTIONS Community Homes

OPTIONS operates 4 community homes. Each home provides a nurturing and supportive atmosphere for six individuals with disabilities to call home. Two of the homes are for women and two are for men.

The homes provide an opportunity for people with complex needs to live with peers in their communities, hands on assistance with daily livings activities, transportation to all activities or appointments, nursing oversight and comprehensive person-centered services.

The locations were chosen in order to maximize access to the community and provide a unique neighborhood experience for residents. Each home is staffed around the clock to ensure the care and safety needs of residents are met.

All 4 community homes have successfully been operating for over 30 years.

Supported Independent Living

OPTIONS Supported Independent Living program assists individuals with an intellectual and developmental disabilities live in the community as independently as possible. The philosophy of OPTIONS is to support, assist and meet the needs of each person based on his or her unique needs and goals. OPTIONS offers services that are tailored to each person’s individual needs, wants, and skills.

Program participants receive assistance with finding housing and negotiating lease terms, navigating home ownership, financial case management, health and wellness coaching and support, medical case management, in home personal care, transportation and any other services needed in order to maintain the highest level of independence for that person.

OPTIONS has been meeting the needs of people with disabilities through its Supported Independent Living Program since 1985.

Single Apartment

Apartment with Roommate

Family Supports

OPTIONS provides support to individuals with disabilities who live with their families enhancing their quality of life and assisting their family caregivers

Family Support include assistance with:

These services support the family care givers enabling them to maintain their own jobs, care for their other children, and take needed breaks. Participants enjoy the opportunity to pursue interests outside of the family.

OPTIONS has been providing Family Support Services since 1991.

To make a referral or learn more about our programs call our office(985) 345-6269!

Shannon Trautman

Shannon Trautman

Shannon Trautman: Shannon joined the OPTIONS team in 2019.  She holds a degree in Music Therapy from Loyola University and a Master’s degree in Education Counseling from Southeastern Louisiana University.  She has worked with people with intellectual disabilities since she was in high school in the ’70s!  Shannon loves to help our participants share the gifts they have that add value to others.

Andrea Gousman

Andrea Gousman

Andrea Gousman: Andrea is a graduate from Tulane University where she received a Bachelors of Art in Social Sciences. She has been a part of the OPTIONS team since 2011. She began her career in case management in 2007. Andrea enjoys working with families to help them navigate the complexities of provider and waiver services. Her goal is to ensure every participant is able to receive the premier services that they deserve and desire.

Jamie Guidry

Jamie Guidry

Jamie Guidry: Jamie joined OPTIONS in 2019. She holds a degree in Accounting from Southeastern. She has worked in the non-profit industry serving the elderly and disabled for over seventeen years. Jamie’s focus is to continue to serve this community and assure that these citizens are provided the best services available by striving to improve the financial health of our agency.

Jennifer Carona

Jennifer Carona

Jennifer Carona: Jennifer joined the OPTIONS team in 2021. She is a native of Independence, Louisiana. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2004 and a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner in 2020 from Herzing University. She is a Licensed Registered Nurse, Licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Jennifer’s focus is to ensure that OPTIONS participants receive high quality healthcare so that they may live and flourish in their community to the best of their abilities.

Sharon Jacob

Sharon Jacob

Sharon Jacob: Sharon Jacob is a graduate of Coastal College where she studied Business Management in 1990.  She is a native of Hammond, LA. with over 30 years of experience in Business Management.  She has served in her role as the Director of Transportation since 2013. Sharon loves that OPTIONS has granted her the opportunity to do what she loves, transport and support people with disabilities, so they can live their dreams in our community. 

Steve Leon 2

Steve Leon

Steve Leon: Steve joined the OPTIONS team in 2010. He is from Metairie and moved to Hammond in 1974 to attend Southeastern Louisiana University. He graduated with a Master’s degree in 1979 and worked for Southeastern for over 30 years as an administrator in Student and Business services before coming to OPTIONS.  Steve is also a City Councilman for Hammond, La.  Steve has been very active in the community throughout his career. His primary focus at OPTIONS is property management, operations, logistics and whatever else needs to be done!

Michelle Carruthers

Michelle Carruthers

Michelle Carruthers: Michelle received her BA in Psychology from UNC Greensboro and her M.Ed. in Counseling from Southeastern Louisiana University.  For over a decade, Michelle has provided services to individuals with disabilities and their families. She joined the OPTIONS team in 2021 and continues her passion for empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is committed to helping OPTIONS participants lead fulfilling lives and accomplish their goals, whether it’s participating in their community, living independently, or finding meaningful work.

Dione Branch

Dione Branch

Dione Branch:Joining in 2020, Dione found OPTIONS’s dynamic culture to be a welcoming and supportive environment. As a credentialed SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), she actively engages at both the national level with SHRM and locally with NSHRM. An alumna of the University of New Orleans, Dione holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management specializing in Human Resources and an MBA with a focus on Healthcare Management. Within our HR department, our core commitment is to ensure that every employee receives the same level of support as the individuals we serve, fostering a culture of unity and shared purpose.

Alexis Sterling

Alexis Sterling

Alexis Sterling: Alexis is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University. She holds a degree in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Family Studies. Alexis began working at OPTIONS in 2016 and she enjoys coordinating fun activities for the participants year round. She shares her passion for OPTIONS by inspiring community members to get involved, volunteer, and make a difference in their community.

Casey Rudolph

Casey Rudolph

Casey Rudolph: Casey is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University where she studied Psychology. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, a graduate of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s Development Fellowship Class of 2022, and is a member of Leadership Tangipahoa’s Class of 2024.  Casey began working with people with disabilities in 2014 and joined the OPTIONS family in 2020. She loves highlighting the stories of OPTIONS participants, fundraising to ensure the sustainability of our organization, and inspiring others to support our mission.

Sylvia Easter 2020

Sylvia Bush

Sylvia Bush: For over 40 years, Sylvia has been advocating and helping create quality community services for people with disabilities.  She served as OPTIONS President and CEO from 1979 until 2021. She was appointed President Emeritus by the Board of Directors in 2022. She continues to demonstrate her heart of service and her steadfast commitment by volunteering at OPTIONS on a weekly basis. 

Carrie Mercke

Carrie Mercke

Carrie Mercke: Carrie joined the OPTIONS team in 2009.  She is a Ponchatoula native, and holds a degree in Psychology from Southeastern and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Louisville.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board Approved Clinical Supervisor.  Carrie’s focus is to build upon the legacy of our founding families through advocating for a more inclusive community for people with disabilities. 

Download our employee handbook 2020