Myrrie Hayes and a sister, Kay Bodude, founded Best Care Behavioral Homes in 2015 by two sisters who had been caring for a third, older sister who struggled with Schizophrenia until her death. The sisters, compassionate and with nearly 30 years of healthcare and business experience, set out to provide an alternative to traditional treatment they had come to know dealing with residential settings.
Myrrie Hayes began her career working in senior assisted living. She now manages 10 group homes, eight located in buildings she owns. The group homes typically have between five and eight adult residents, for a total of fifty-six people under the care of Best Care.
Grit Daily: I understand your experience taking care of a sibling inspired you to open Best Care. Please tell us about that.
Myrrie Hayes: In 2014, I began my career as an owner for a senior assisted living facility. My older sister struggled with symptoms of schizophrenia and needed help caring for herself; I received a call from her and she asked if I could take care of her. She arrived in Arizona, and was later on diagnosed with bladder cancer. My sister passed away after three months at my assisted living facility. I did not want to resume my job after that and began working with people who suffer from mental illness.
Grit Daily: How do your clients come to your group homes? Are they admitting themselves?
Myrrie Hayes: We admit people to our program through referrals from case managers or social workers. Most of our clients are coming from a mental hospital or crisis center (which is like an emergency room for people dealing with mental issues). We only admit people into our program who have been referred to us by someone else.
Grit Daily: Running a group home doesn’t sound like a business for everyone. What is required to succeed in the industry?
Myrrie Hayes: This field is not for everyone.
You need to have a healthcare background or some type of group home experience, but that isn’t always the case. I’ve seen people who had no experience be successful in this industry. You just have to know how to grind. Someone with patience and discipline will succeed in the business. From setting up to running a successful group home business, you will need patience and discipline.
Grit Daily: How heavily regulated are group homes?
Myrrie Hayes: Licensed homes are heavily regulated because they are dealing with a protected demographic. There are agencies set up to make sure things are being done properly. I believe this is a good thing and is needed in the industry. Everyone isn’t in this industry for the right reasons, so checks and balances need to be put in place to ensure that individuals are treated fairly.
Grit Daily: I’ve heard a lot of hiring problems generally in the healthcare industry. What challenges do you face staffing your facilities?
Myrrie Hayes: I believe that staffing problems are pervasive in every industry today. We take it all in stride, posting for employees on a weekly basis and trying to stay on top of it by over-hiring in order to meet the needs of our clients.
Grit Daily: Is there anything you want to mention that I have not asked about?
Myrrie Hayes: Group homes are a necessity in the community. They have their drawbacks, but they offer rewarding experiences for residents. That is why we have established a consulting firm that assists other families in setting up group homes of their own. If you want more information please reach out to us. You can check our website at https://bcbhaz.org/ or https://themyrriehayes.com/
Peter Page is the Contributions Editor at Grit Daily. Formerly at Entrepreneur.com, he began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter long before print journalism had even heard of the internet, much less realized it would demolish the industry. The years he worked a police reporter are a big influence on his world view to this day. Page has some degree of expertise in environmental policy, the energy economy, ecosystem dynamics, the anthropology of urban gangs, the workings of civil and criminal courts, politics, the machinations of government, and the art of crystallizing thought in writing.