We all want companionship and strive for healthy relationships in our lives. Helping the individuals we serve form real relationships is an integral part of Alternatives’ model of community inclusion. The importance of having a real home and a real job cannot be understated, but real relationships are what sustain us as human beings.
How do we overcome the challenges that people with disabilities face in developing friendships? By collaborating with other organizations to help build healthier communities, we create opportunities for the individuals we serve to connect with new people in their communities. These collaborations have included sponsoring art and yoga classes, hosting events like concerts and neighborhood gatherings, and initiating volunteer projects that meet community needs. The goal is to bring people of all abilities together to enjoy common interests.
The challenges that Terri has confronted in her life would surely have overwhelmed a less resilient woman. She’s faced career shifts with ease: from food service to church administration, to marketing and sales (she’s even driven a tractor-trailer!). She’s a recovered alcoholic with 25 years of sobriety. She even found the courage to leave an abusive relationship.
As talented and resourceful as Terri has proven to be, she was no match for the intense depression that overcame her in 2011. She was in and out of the hospital so often in the ensuing years that even she can’t tell you how many times. Eventually, she was referred to Alternatives’ Mental Health Services in Leominster.
It’s been about two years since Terri came to Alternatives and much has changed. Read on.
Other Stories of Success:
Casey: “There’s no question about it, Casey Burgoyne is value-added.” Read
Deb: As a resident at an Alternatives home Foxboro, she’s an enthusiastic participant in all of the home’s community activities. Read