Spotlight: Rainbow Steps
Join us as we talk with Danielle Hayduk, owner of Rainbow Steps, about how she filled a need that was not yet being met in the assisted living community.
What inspired you to start Rainbow Steps?
I was at a crossroads in my real estate investing career and my personal life, and I heard about the concept of residential assisted living, where you take a house and create a community living arrangement offering services if needed. I realized that I should think about where I would eventually want to live and design it to reflect what I would want.
How did that original concept evolve into what it is today?
I first started thinking that aging transgenders are probably going to have the hardest time in group living situations unless they are around people who understand them. By broadening that thought to the LGBTQA+ community, I decided, upon consulting with some of the leaders in assisted living, that concentrating on the LGBTQA+ would be filling an unserved niche.
What has surprised you most about being a business owner?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for 30 years, so there have been many things that have surprised me, but primarily the fact that we can really accomplish anything we put our minds to.
Who are some of the coolest people you’ve met since opening?
I’ve met tons of people who are really passionate about their path and have found some great networkers in the area.
What might we be surprised to learn about Rainbow Steps?
This concept of taking a house and offering communal living with assisted living components is not new, it exists in many other states, but there aren’t many in Ohio. However, as far as I can tell, this is the first LGBTQA+ residential assisted living home.
How do you think Rainbow Steps will change within the next 5 years?
Rainbow steps currently has two homes, one in Oberlin and one in the Streetsboro area, but within the next five years we should have expanded to twelve houses in the greater Cleveland area and maybe started to do the same in other states.
What has been your main goal with Rainbow Steps?
My main goal is to offer the aging LGBT community a safe and caring environment where they can feel at home and age gracefully.
Why did you choose Cleveland?
I chose Cleveland because of the size of the LGBT community.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
A typical workday involves a lot of meetings and phone calls to spread the word about Rainbow Steps. We also host Casual Fridays on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month from 7-10pm in Hudson, where anyone is free to come meet new people. We all bring something to drink and nibble on. Its an alternative to going to a bar. In Oberlin it’s the 3rd Friday of the month.
What has been the most satisfying thing about opening Rainbow Steps?
To know that I am filling a need and having people thank me. It is satisfying to know that I can help change lives.
Ready to learn more about Rainbow Steps? Click here!