Moving Towards Independence
At Community Services, we believe that every person is able and deserves the opportunity to live their fullest life possible. After their mother passed away, Xavier and Richard moved into one of our Supported Apartments. They worked with staff that supported them to learn the skills they needed getting ready for work every morning, as well as budgeting their funds and scheduling any appointments they may have. The goal was to prepare them to eventually live independently in the community.
As their confidence began to grow, Richard and Xavier began inquiring about the opportunity to move into their own apartment. They looked forward to this option, as it would mean they would be able to self-direct their services and develop a plan for the supports they want and need. A Self-Directed plan lets you choose what resources you need and hire your own staff to build a circle of support in your community. This choice-based program is designed to promote independence and to build confidence as you take control of your own life.
Richard and Xavier found their first apartment closer to their family, just as they wished for. Their first staff member was a Self Determination Assistant who provided them with support and assistance depending on what they needed. They also hired Lindsey to be their Life Coach. A Life Coach assists in helping with such things as scheduling their daily routines, attending doctor’s appointments, shopping for groceries, paying bills, and much more.
Being able to hire their own staff was a big confidence booster for the brothers. They were able to ask questions that pertained to their individual needs and wants. Xavier took this as a chance to really step up to the plate as an independent individual. Despite their initial shyness, once the brothers were handed the steering wheel to their own lives, they blossomed! Now both Xavier and Richard are quick to speak up when they have any issues, letting their supportive staff know how they would like the issues resolved.
Prior to living in our Supported Apartments, the brothers needed constant reminders to set their alarms in order to get up for work. Since living independently, they set their alarms without reminder, iron their clothes, and prepare their lunches for work. Lindsey, their Life Coach, has worked with them to create a mail sorting system, helping them keep their bills organized. Richard and Xavier are eager to learn how to cook and will set food aside in order for the staff to help teach them how to prepare it.
Richard has begun taking art classes. He was taught how to draw by one of his brothers who has passed away. “He taught me how to draw faces and I kept going from there,” says Richard.” He likes to paint in his room with his door closed, “It’s nice to have some quiet time. No one is bothering you because you’re by yourself.” Xavier has been taking guitar lessons. Music is a passion of his and he makes sure he expresses that to the staff that he hires. He goes to sleep to music, wakes up to music, and cleans to music. “When I’m playing, it gets me happy and gives me joy. It feels like I can do anything I put my mind to,” says Xavier. This is only the beginning for the brothers; we are grateful they have chosen Community Services to participate in their journey.