May 3, 2017
Beginning the Journey
Anna R. recently celebrated six months of rocking the title, “Miss Independent”. How did she get this title, you ask? In September 2016, Anna moved out of her parents’ home and into Homeward Bound Lee house to begin her journey as an independent woman. Anna accomplished her goal almost five years earlier than she had planned! Originally her goal was to move out by the time she was 30 years old and she accomplished it at the age of 25!
Getting a Head Start
In the fall of 2015, getting a head start on checking out her future living options, Anna went and toured one of Homeward Bound’s homes. Being 24 years old at the time, she had time to figure out where she wanted to eventually move but was in more urgent need of additional supports in her family home. Anna’s parents and brother provided Anna with much of the support she needed at home. With both of her parents working full time and her brother having recently graduated from college and ready to move out, Anna needed additional support. Anna was utilizing “PCA Choice” services through another agency at the time. With PCA Choice, the family was required to recruit the staff themselves. Finding and retaining quality staff was, at times, a challenge. Anna and her family decided to utilize Homeward Bound’s In-Home support services to supplement her support needs in the home.
After six months of receiving Homeward Bound’s In-Home services an opportunity came available to Anna. Anna was presented with the option to move into Homeward Bound’s Lee House which is one block from her family home. Anna remembers being both very excited and very nervous about this opportunity. Not only was this home close to her family’s home, she also worked with one of the individuals living at Lee House who would become her roommate. Anna and her family came to tour Lee House and found that there was another huge perk to living at Lee House! The supervisor of the house and Anna knew each other from when Anna attended high school! The supervisor worked at Anna’s high school during the time that Anna attended. With so many stars seemingly aligning for Anna, she decided to conquer her fears and move forward with the move!
Anna expressed being very grateful for the familiar face and connection she had with the Lee House supervisor and appreciates all of her support in making the move a smooth transition. Anna’s HBI In-home services staff also worked at Lee House for a few days when Anna first moved in to help the Lee House staff and Anna get acquainted. Anna has since settled in quite well to Lee house and has developed good relationships with the Lee house staff and her housemates. Additionally, Anna’s family has been very supportive. “I have such an amazing support system”, said Anna, “it really helps me knowing I have my parents right down the street.” Anna’s parents reported, “We thought the transition to her new home would be difficult, however, it was very smooth.” They reflected, “We used to worry about Anna’s future and care in the event that we were no longer here and/or could no longer provide that care. Now when we think about Anna’s future we envision that Anna will continue to learn, mature, and direct her care as Miss Independent and potentially move to her own apartment or home in the future”.
As Anna reflected on her journey, she expressed, “I can’t believe how much I’ve learned and grown from this opportunity. I am grateful for this opportunity that allowed me to be so strong and to be able to increase my independence.” Anna works on goals everyday which help her continue to increase her independence and she hopes to one day live in her own home.
Anna hopes that by sharing her story she will inspire others to follow their hearts and to not be afraid to go after what they want for themselves. Anna’s advice to others with a disability is, “If you ever have people tell you that you can’t do something they are wrong! People with a disability are just like everyone else and can do anything they put their mind to.” Way to achieve your goals and pursue your dreams, Anna a.k.a. Miss Independent!