The Assisted Living program works with individuals that have achieved a substantial level of independence. Individuals in the Assisted Living program live on their own with a majority of decisions made exclusively by them. Nothing makes us prouder than seeing our clients graduate to this stage in their lives. This is a major step and we treat it like a very great accomplishment. When a client reaches this stage, it strongly rewards our hard work as an organization, but more importantly, it highlights the individual’s incredible progress working through their disability to grow and develop. Everyone’s work pays off and our core mission is ultimately fulfilled.
In our mission to develop independent clients, we strongly focus on relationship building as a major tenet of their growth. In support of that mission, we also encourage some clients to pursue romantic interests. Some of our clients have even found love, committing to one another and forming a family of their own through marriage. Through this part in their lives, we provide the services and resources for individuals to fully participate in the lives of their spouse, partner, or children. We work with the entire family.
A great example of this program’s success is Charlyce and Randy who have been married for fifteen years. Their ceremony was held in the gazebo located at the main center, with Joe Madrid, our former CEO, officiating. Charlyce’s sister, Joy, served as the Maid of Honor and Henry Orona, Randy’s friend, served as his Best Man. Charlyce and Randy are still together and have thrived in their union. Randy is currently employed with Brewer Oil and Charlyce is a proud employee at Rib Crib. They recently made their final mortgage payment for their home and they share their home with their “baby,” Peanut.
In the past, dating or marriage for individuals living with disabilities was completely prohibited. In fact, there were times when even family members, some of the biggest advocates for some of our individuals, had a difficult time transitioning through this process. Overtime, however, their own notions and attitudes have changed.
We understand that most people strive to live independently. We encourage this aspiration for many of the individuals in our program as well. Although there are some who may never be able to reach this point due to severely challenging disabilities, our experience has been rewarded time and again by keeping the opportunity open to anyone willing to work toward their independence. When it comes to our clients, we entertain all possibilities.