New director comes to Randy and Friends

Dennis K. Scheidt of Cumming, a retired hospital CEO, says he wants “to encourage people.”

ScheidtRandy and Friends is a nonprofit organization in Gainesville that works with people with disabilities. Participants—the organization calls them “friends”—work at the Rooster’s Perch, a coffee house at 210 Bradford Street, and receive further training and coaching in job skills at R&F Enterprises on Oak Street.

Scheidt, who holds master’s degrees in finance and health administration, has served as chief operating officer of Clayton General Hospital in Clayton County and as director of a home health agency. He worked with a long term health care center, as an insurance broker, mortgage banker, and served as vice president of Hope Now Ministries, which raises money for healthcare in Ukraine.

“I’ve been through the climb-the-ladder years of my life,” he said, “so now I want to find some way to help people and serve the Lord.”

He and his wife, Monica, have 11 children, each of whom Scheidt has taken on a mission trip to either Ukraine or Russia. “We live in a society where everything is all about me,” he said. “…I wanted them (his children) to see what the rest of the world looks like.”

Marty Owens, who founded Randy and Friends, said the staff feels “blessed that God would bring us a man of this quality. There is a need for young adults with challenge to have support to become independent. We have no doubt Mr. Scheidt can move us toward our goal of seeing that all those living in this community will have the  opportunity to develop their gifts and discover what good plans God has for their life.”

Scheidt said Randy and Friends involves about 60 people who are receiving training in job skills or are already on the job and being monitored by staff members.

“I like to encourage people,” he said, “and special-needs people need encouragement.”

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