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Member Stories
The member stories that follow speak to the power of the human spirit, to the power of hope, and to the power of dedicated individuals working together as a team.
  • Jerry's Story: Finally a Place to Call Home

    Member Story - JerryJerry was like most young adults – he sought freedom and independence.

    So, at the age of 18 with no plans or destination in mind, he moved out of his parents’ home and for the next 30 years drifted from house to house never staying longer than a few nights at a time.

    Throughout the three decades of couch surfing, friends and family continually worried about his health and safety. Complicating an already difficult situation, Jerry is intellectually disabled and suffers from a seizure disorder.

    The people he was closest to repeatedly asked him to stay in their homes on a more permanent basis, but Jerry – citing he didn’t want to become an annoyance or lose his sense of independence – always turned down the offers. Jerry somehow survived this rugged and dangerous existence for 30 years before he was introduced at the age of 48 to Community Care.

    The Community Care team supported and guided him in developing personal goals and a plan that would start Jerry down the path to true independence. The team worked with him to find a place of his own – his greatest dream – that was clean, comfortable, safe and close to family and special needs resources.

    Finally home, Jerry had achieved the independence and freedom he sought for so long. And with that came a greater sense of personal achievement and satisfaction. Plus, the people who love and care about him had peace of mind knowing that Jerry was safe at home.

  • Kerri's Story: A Family Empowered

    Member Story - KerryDave and Vickie for years tried to figure out a way to spend more time with their special needs adult daughter, Kerri.

    Their work schedules kept the family apart all too often, so they decided to start a business of their own in which everyone in the family could be involved. With Kerri as their motivation, “VerriKerri,” a handmade soap business was born.

    Throughout the process, the family was supported by Community Care. With the help of her care team, Kerri established goals to work toward. Her family then utilized the Self-Directed Supports option of the program to select the support and services Kerri needed to develop skills necessary to succeed in the business.

    Since the business was founded in 2011, the VerriKerri brand has earned a reputation as a premium product that has a repeat customer base that continues to grow. Kerri packages and labels many of the soaps the business sells, and if she has the chance, she’ll even personally deliver them.

    “By involving her in the process, we believe we are helping Kerri bring a little happiness and joy to others through the making and delivering of handcrafted, natural bars of soap,” Dave said. “This allows her to use her God-given abilities and work toward living up to her full potential. This experience continues to be fantastic. Kerri loves it and we could not be happier.”

  • Lance's Story: Freedom Regained

    Member Story - LanceLance enjoyed riding his motorcycle more than anything. He loved the sense of freedom and independence riding on the open road gave him and he found spending time outside invigorating, according to his girlfriend Denise.

    But his rides came to an end in an instant when a motorcycle accident left Lance physically, mentally and emotionally broken. After the accident, he spent six months in the hospital and another year in a rehabilitation facility healing his body.

    Unable to care for himself or to simply get around, Lance was frustrated and angry. He contemplated giving up on life. The depth of the hurt and despair he felt is hard to imagine.

    At this most critical point, Lance was introduced to Community Care. With Denise by his side, Lance worked with his care team to regain the independence and freedom he had lost. His care team helped coordinate his enrollment in occupational and speech therapy classes and set him up with special aquatic classes. He learned to use adaptive equipment to overcome physical limitations, and worked relentlessly to gain strength and confidence.

    Lance’s story demonstrates the power of the human spirit and what can be accomplished when caring people work together toward a common goal.
  • Noreen's Story: "Community Care probably saved my life."

    Member Story - NoreenWhen Noreen joined Community Care’s innovative Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in 2008, the 64 year old described her life as “a mess.” She had been battling the chronic illnesses of depression and anxiety and her insurance company sent her to health professionals all over the area – there simply was no coordination of her care.

    After joining the Community Care PACE program, an entire team of health professionals worked with Noreen and her family to treat her chronic illnesses.

    “With Community Care, everything comes together,” Noreen said. “It’s all under one roof, and I know I am getting good care.”

    The coordinated care she received at Community Care changed her life. Noreen has gone from needing help to becoming the helper. She now provides support to four elderly residents in the subsidized apartment building she lives in. Serving as their companion, she spends time with them doing everything from helping them read their mail to praying with them.

    She’s also active in the community doing volunteer work and also serving on the Community Care Appeals Committee. “Noreen has dealt with a lot, and has handled the challenges so well,” said her Community Care social worker.

    “By coordinating her care, we were able to both realize significant cost savings and at the same time improve the quality of the healthcare she receives. It’s a win-win all around.”

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