Living My Dream. Our Mission is to support individuals in the pursuit of their chosen goals and the achievement of personal satisfaction in their lives. Chauncy Bell
Chauncy achieved his dream of car ownership by purchasing a Chrysler Sebring in December 2006. He budgeted his money, did research on purchasing vehicles, bargained with the car dealership, went to a financial institution to obtain a loan, purchased his own car insurance, and made all arrangements to finalize this purchase! He did all of this with minimal assistance from support staff.
This entire process has provided him with more independence and improved his self-esteem. He can now go to pay his bills, grocery shopping, and has even begun dating. He is very happy. Chauncy says that he can now make his own decisions, has more choices, and has more opportunities for growth.
Johnie’s dream was to own his own home. He knew what kind he wanted and where - to be close to his family, job, church, and volunteer work at a homeless shelter. As a first-time homebuyer he faced many challenges, but with the help of his mother and Supports Coordinator Sue Mys, Johnie connected with the Liberty Hill Homebuyers Club.
A broker agency of the Michigan Homeownership Coalition, the Club provides MSHDA certified first-time homeownership counseling and through the Coalition, access to lenders specifically designed for persons with disabilities.
Just as Johnie and his mom were about to close, she passed away unexpectedly. His stepfather completed the final steps and Johnie finally realized his long held dream and he purchased his home in Romulus.
Orlando, the successful owner of Lannie's Pizza, has a sense of pride in his business. He obtained a food handler’s license, buys his own supplies, and serves pizza by the slice once a week. According to Orlando, owning his own business has given him "money to buy things I want and go places I enjoy!” He made a presentation to the Board of Directors expressing his satisfaction with the way things were going for him.
Orlando is also very considerate of and helpful to others. He assists his cousin with chores and baby sits his nieces and nephew. Orlando rides public transportation and he’s very often seen going to the movies on his own, one of his favorite pastimes.
Robert is the proud owner of Bahama Bob’s Subs which he started over a year ago with the help of his Employment Representative and his parents, Sharon and Jerry Singer. Robert likes having a business and is having a good time with it.
He offers a nice selection of sub sandwiches with a bag of chips and plans to expand his customer base in the area. He is saving his earnings and his first goal is to buy a new television.
Robert likes the money he earns and the recognition he gets for having his own business. He is very appreciative of his parents for all of their support.
Joanne is an enthusiastic volunteer in the program at the Dearborn Resource Center where she helps the residents to play Bingo at the Four Chaplains Nursing Home.
She has developed a friendship with Patty, one of the women there, and visits the Nursing Home on her own to attend other functions as Patty’s guest.
Joanne has also started a micro enterprise and makes craft items, some of which are featured at today’s celebration.
Teresa says “I am living my dream".
She has been married almost seven years and she and her husband live in an apartment.
Teresa has worked in the community at a variety of jobs but she considers her best job ever to be her current business, Happy Burger. She was very fearful of operating her own business in the beginning. However, with plenty of support, she just celebrated her first year in operation. “I am so happy!”
Theresa lives her dream on a daily basis. She owns a 1994 Chevrolet Caprice that she drives four days a week to a job she loves at the Livonia Olive Garden restaurant.
She is a very independent young woman who is able to access the community for social activities, banking, grocery shopping, in addition to volunteering in the children’s room at Park View Baptist Church.
With savings from her job, she was able to enjoy a cruise to Nassau on a Carnival Cruise Ship.
Juneen was a very determined individual as she set out to show her mother that she could live on her own. She went to the Social Security office and had her checks changed into her name. She opened up her own bank account so her checks could be directly deposited.
She found an apartment on her own and pays her bills independently. She operates her own little business called Michelle’s Ice Cream Shop and attends Wayne County Community College.
In all, Juneen has been very successful and highly motivated by her accomplishments, inspiring her to set even more goals for herself.
Alfreda’s dream is to work in a nursing home as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). She recently met with the Director of the Fairlane Nursing Home in Detroit, was given a tour, and met a few of the residents.
Alfreda was very happy and excited about her visit to Fairlane and has taken the necessary steps to go once a month to see the residents and to bring them a small craft item to put in their rooms.
Fairlane will soon begin a Hospitality Program that will allow her to come in and serve the residents cups of ice water and to make beds. Alfreda is looking forward to these new opportunities and challenges as she works towards fulfilling her dream.
Cynthia will soon celebrate 5 years of employment at Wal-Mart in Canton and she really loves her job. She is a member of a team of dedicated employees and works very hard to earn the praise she often receives. On a recent payday Cynthia brought home a check that was nearly five times greater than her usual pay and her Aunt thought it was surely a mistake.
Cynthia had earned a bonus and learned that she would continue to get them quarterly. She was so excited to cash that check that she exclaimed to her Aunt “it is mine to keep because I earned it.”
Cynthia knows that she isn’t just employed at Wal-Mart, she has friends there who care about her. She belongs and is valued for who she is and what she does.
Wilma had lived with members of her family for most of her life and they moved around a lot. She dreamed of having a place to call her own and her dream came true. Wilma moved into a two-bedroom apartment in Westland with a roommate.
Wilma learned that she could do things she never thought possible. She did her own laundry, cleaned her room, set the table, and cleaned the dishes. She has a sense of pride and independence when she does these things. When her roommate moved out Wilma chose to try it on her own and she found a new sense of independence.
The job she accepted at U.S. Farathane is helping her make the rent and continue to be on her own. Wilma loves her place and now is making her own breakfast, cleaning the entire apartment and taking care of her new cat Sandy.
Linda shares her dad’s love of working at crafts and only needed a little inspiration. She got it from her Employment Representative who gave her a hand-held knitting tool and taught her how to knit hats and scarves for stuffed bears. Linda struggled a bit at first but soon became quit adept at weaving hats and scarves.
She dresses her bears for “success” and attends several craft shows that result in many sales. Her father made her some display stands and her mother helped her expand her bear boutique into Ballerina Bears, Red Hat Ladies Bears, Pregnant Bears (bought for a Baby Shower)… and the ideas continue to flow.
Linda’s Bears have been a great success. She gets a lot of private sales in addition to larger market shows. Linda really loves being her own boss and sharing this with her parents. She smiles a lot when she sells her products, feeling very good about her newly found success.
Theresa, now a senior citizen, has lived independently since 1997 and now resides in the Woodbridge Senior Village in Detroit. She grew up as a child in this area and many of the residents know her very well.
She is a member of the ARC Detroit and participates in social events and other activities held there. She is also a member of First Baptist Church of Detroit and attends regular church services and events. She rides the church bus to and from her church every week.
Theresa’s dream is to continue to live as independent a life as possible with the help of her many neighbors and friends.
Ceretta Willis & James Wesley
Ceretta and James have lived independently since 1997. They now live in the Woodbridge Estate Townhouses in Detroit. They work together to manage their financial affairs and have saved their money to purchase furniture for their apartment. Ceretta is a member of the Board of Directors for Services To Enhance Potential.
They participate in many social functions in their community together. They are active members of People First of Detroit.
James and Ceretta are in the process of planning their Commitment Ceremony this summer in the presence of all of their family and friends – a long held dream. The couple will honeymoon in Las Vegas.
William looked for a job that would enable him to sit down while working. He had very few options for available jobs and transportation.
With the opportunity and desire to start his own shredding business, Love’s Shredding, he is thrilled with the extra income and the fact that he runs his own business.
Dale has held down many jobs in the past including Ray Hunter’s Nursery and Kroger, but was looking for a change. Eager to find a way to earn money and keep busy he decided it was best to go into business for himself.
With a some assistance he started a little food business, State’s Burger Exchange. He now has a membership at Sam’s Club where he loves to explore the large variety of goods and purchases all of his business supplies. He deposits his revenue into a checking account which he opened up.
Dale is very excited to finally have the extra income to buy something other than putting it back into the business. He is very pleased with the success of his business so far.
Debbie was initially hesitant to venture into the community, let alone to have a business. She started by volunteering and participating in community outings. Slowly she gained more confidence and became more independent at community outings.
Debbie is now very excited to have become an entrepreneur and be a bigger part of her community. She owns gumball machines that were donated by a local Kiwanis group and has them placed at various businesses in the community where she services them regularly.
She is very happy with the money she earns and one of the first purchases she made for herself was a purse.
Brian has been very active in his community while facing many personal challenges over the years. He has volunteered for an adolescent after care program and now volunteers at both the Michigan Animal Rescue and Motor Meals.
He held a position as a care giver for a group home and respite care provider for over six years. He recently was offered employment and now works at Damons Grill where he has increased his work skills, self-esteem, and work ethics.
Brian recently interviewed at a local Animal Hospital where he hopes to become an Animal Attendant and is anxiously awaiting word from the employer.
George owns and operates a business called Creations by George. This hand-made greeting card business was developed from his life long love of collecting rubber stamps. In 2004 George started using his stamps to develop a product line of inspired greeting cards, bookmarks, invitations and stationary. All of these products are designed and hand stamped by George.
George runs his business out of various locations as well as his home. He enjoys showing and selling his products at craft shows and fairs throughout the state and also has his own website – www.creationsbygeorge.com. With the ongoing development and success of his business, George has acquired great personal satisfaction, an increase in self-confidence, not to mention a pretty good income and a big, winning smile.
Julian is a very nice, easy going guy – just ask anyone who knows him. He is an avid reader of newspapers and magazines and he has several subscriptions. Julian enjoys playing UNO and bingo, likes to bowl, watch NASCAR on television, and attend his Bible Study group.
Julian was employed at the Holiday Inn Express in Chelsea where he performed housekeeping tasks. When the job ended because the motel was sold he spent his time volunteering at Motor Meals, Faith in Action and Salvation Army.
Last fall Julian was hired by Chelsea Hospital where he proudly focuses on detail cleaning in the kitchen areas. He enjoys his work so much he refuses to take time off for himself or even visit his family in Tennessee. His friends are working with him to take some time off and spend his hard earned money on travel and new clothing – all well deserved.
James is success in the making. After having a rough time finding work on his own he was offered an opportunity to work on the crew at Applebee’s. At first he was very quiet and just did what was asked of him.
In just two months James was a totally different person. He was socializing with his supervisor and coworkers and doing a lot of extra things on his own to make the restaurant look nicer.
This did not go unnoticed by the Applebee’s management who loves his work and said “it’s the best the front of the house has ever looked. Applebee’s offered James his own job and now he is one of their best employees, in charge of cleaning the entire restaurant and doing a great job at it.
For a few months Marylin was serving her customers coffee, tea and hot chocolate the old fashion way, by hand. Utilizing the Revolving Business Loan Program, Marilyn was able to obtain several hundred dollars for her start-up costs which included a “lease to own” vending machine through the Continental Canteen Company.
She is provided with free delivery of her supplies as well as routine maintenance services from Continental as long as she purchases her supplies from them. Business has been good and Marilyn is pleased that she has finished paying off her machine.
Marilyn’s father is teaching her how to monitor her supplies, clean out her machine, count her money, and do her business banking. Fast approaching her one year anniversary, Marilyn is already planning to purchase another vending machine, this one to be full of healthy snacks.
Darrell became a father over six years ago but never had the opportunity to see his child. He did not find out until his daughter was born in San Antonio, Texas.
Darrell’s dream was to see and spend time with his daughter but there were many barriers for him to fulfilling it. The extended family of his daughter did not want him to come for a visit. He had never been far from home on his own, much less flown on an airplane.
Today Darrell is living his dream. His Supports Coordinator assisted him with making arrangements with the family, buying his plane ticket, learning to use traveler’s checks and making arrangements for support at the airport. He has visited his little girl twice now. Their favorite activity together is playing basketball. When they are not together they are talking on the phone and exchanging gifts.
Beth is now a very proud employee of the Ginopolis Restaurant located in the Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth. For over fifteen years prior to this she has been very productive and could do any job assigned to her in house.
Beth always showed the capabilities of maintaining competitive employment, but was always afraid to make the change. When the opportunity for a position at Ginapolis became available she finally decided to go for it. She told everyone she was afraid but still wanted to try.
Now Beth is one of Ginopolis’ finest and is so happy she made the decision to work here. She recently made a presentation, a fine job of speaking at a Board of Directors meeting, sharing with all present how she made the transition to community employment. She summed it up best by saying emphatically, “I was afraid, but I just stepped out there and did it!”
Tom Swales and Kurt Glantz
Tom had not been happy in his current home for some time and had been looking for a new home and a roommate for over a year. After meeting with several prospective roommates, Tom and his parents finally met Kurt and his family who, coincidentally, also wanted to change his residence. Now Kurt and Tom have known each other for many years but did not know they had the same goal!
Tom’s sister and brother-in-law purchased a home for them to rent and the papers are signed. At times it seemed like it would never happen, but Tom, his parents, and circle of support which include STEP, The ARC of Western Wayne, Domas Vita, and Community Living Services worked tirelessly.
Kurt’s family, also very supportive of him, wanted him to be happy and have been instrumental in helping the guys become closer. Tom, Kurt, and their families have since grown a bond with one another. Kurt’s circle of support includes STEP and Synergy. The guys will move into their new home this June, living their dream together!
Our Mission is to support individuals in the pursuit of their chosen goals and the achievement of personal satisfaction in their lives.
Julia Murray & Brenda Jones
Julia and Brenda are long time volunteers at the V.A. Hospital in Detroit. They volunteer in the library and take books and magazines to the Veterans in their hospital rooms and waiting rooms. They enjoy the interaction they have with the veterans. They volunteer on Thursday and Fridays for three hours, and they also have a free lunch each day with other volunteers and hospital workers in the V.A. cafeteria.
Julia has volunteered 2,000 hours and Brenda has volunteered 1,400 hours. They have learned how to punch in and out on the computer that tracks their hours. They take the D-DOT bus to and from the V.A. Hospital. Both are active in their churches and both love to go shopping. Brenda enjoys watching the Pistons, and Julia is a big Tigers fan. The picture shows them with the awards that the V.A. Hospital presented them at the American Legion Hall.
At one time Randy was homeless and desperate for a more meaningful life. He has faced other tough challenges which he has overcome through rehabilitation and hard work. His efforts have not gone unnoticed as he has been invited to serve on the Board of Directors at the Calvin Wells Treatment Center in Detroit.
Randy enjoys working and loves helping others at the Resource Center as well as at the carwash where he is employed. He now resides in his own apartment and has maintained a relationship with his girlfriend for over eleven years. Randy has shaped his life to fulfill his dreams with determination and the help of others and serves as an inspiration to all that know him.
Adam operates his own business selling Cappuccino in the morning and at lunch time. His mother is very supportive, helping him order his supplies. He has always been a very good worker and the extra income he earns makes it very worthwhile for him.
Adam’s social skills and self esteem have shown a remarkable improvement. He has become very motivated and productive in all he does. Adam is fulfilling his dream, earning an income on his own.
Donna has been working steadily for the City of Detroit Recreation Department William Center, twenty hours per week, for nearly three years. Prior to this she successfully held down a number of jobs. She loves her current job and intends to do all that she can to hold on to it.
Donna has been using public transportation and independently calls every week to schedule the following week’s rides. In addition to her devotion to her job she takes care of her 87 year old father as well as doing all of the cooking and cleaning in their home.
Michael has worked for Rite Aid for over 15 years and is now located in Garden City. His job duties include unloading the truck and putting the stock away on the sales floor. He also checks the price of items. Michael works as part of a team and enjoys his coworkers very much.
Michael takes great pride in his job and he has never called off sick. He lives with his mother who usually transports him to and from work. In his free time he enjoys being on the internet, watching American Idol, and Deal or No Deal. There is no doubt that he likes to stay busy all of the time.
At first James was nervous about going out into the community to do anything. With a little encouragement he started out slowly - one outing at a time.
Today it’s a different story because he can’t wait to get out every chance he gets. James’ favorite volunteer opportunity is hands down the Plymouth Library where he enjoys cleaning the children’s books.
James also likes to get out riding his bike. He is well liked by his neighbors, not only because he is always helping them with their yard work, but because he is such a friendly person. James also enjoys stamp collecting in his spare time.
Charla yearned to find a church where she could attend on a regular basis. Then she got the opportunity to visit the Detroit World Outreach (DWO) church and had a wonderful time. She truly enjoyed herself and found that it was very uplifting and spiritual, filling a need in her life.
Charla was blessed to find someone who would give her a ride and is now able to look forward to attending every week. She is learning more about the Bible and is becoming a regular member at the DWO.
Rhonda had wanted to attend church for a very long time. She made all the arrangements necessary to make this dream come true and was able to find someone who would be able to give her a ride to church.
She recently visited the Detroit World Outreach (DWO) and truly enjoyed being there. She loves the music and the choir. She really likes the atmosphere and the fact that there are people of all nationalities in one place and all on one accord.
She looks forward to attending every Sunday. In the future, she would like to attend Sunday School, be baptized and become a member at the DWO.
One of John’s favorite activities is to volunteer with the Redford Meals on Wheels program. As a senior citizen himself he loves to visit with his peers on his designated route. He tells everyone to “have a nice day” and “I’ll see you later.”
John also enjoys traveling on the route, recalling memories of his mother and father as he passes the nursing home where his mother stayed and the cemetery where they repose. He enjoys talking about his parents. John looks forward to coming in to volunteer and likes what he is doing more than the jobs he had in the past.
Delores has been living in her own home for more than twelve years. She does her own shopping and cooking and is able to use public transportation.
Delores has held many jobs in the community and, before experiencing some health problems, she was one of the most productive individuals in house. She is now actively self employed selling meals at the Resource Center.
Delores has also had a condition which over time has disfigured her appearance. However, with recent surgery her self esteem has improved greatly. She has bravely overcome many challenges and now looks forward to community employment while she continues to enjoy having her own business.
Crafter Friends is a group of women who entered into a partnership to market their crafts at The Craftique Craft and Antique Mall in Garden City, Michigan.
Bonnie Cameon knits and crochets afghans, baby blankets, and kitchen towels. She learned her skill from her grandmother with whom she had a close personal bond. Bonnie makes standard patterns and also accepts special orders. She is excited that her love for her grandmother and her love of knitting has become a successful business.
Sandy McDougal has turned a hobby of making unique colorful items from plastic canvas into a thriving business. Her inventory includes bingo hats, bingo cards, Kleenex box covers, napkin holders, personalized mouse pads, and Disney magnets. This business allows her to utilize her creative talents, interact with people, and engage in leisure pursuits.
Karen Kley taught herself the art of plastic canvas. She makes a variety of items including placemats and check book covers. In addition she makes sun catchers from used CD’s and craft foam. She enjoys giving personal demonstrations of the process she uses during the Craft Fairs she attends.
Angela has lived in her own apartment for over seven years yet she places a great deal of emphasis on her family. Family and friends alike all agree that she has made great progress in growth and maturity. Angela is very involved in the ARC Detroit and enjoys going to dances.
She is connected to her community in many other ways. She is a registered voter and voted in both the state and national elections. She visits her local library on a regular basis and shops and dines at local stores and restaurants.
With her mother’s assistance Angela is fulfilling her dream to live a self- determined life, working together in hiring staff, maintaining staff records and running her own business. She is saving up her money to take a vacation and very soon she hopes!
Eric is the successful owner of Doughboy Enterprises. He started out with a couple of vending machines, learned how order the product, stock the machines, and sort the money with the help of his father. They decided that it would be more profitable to eliminate the middle man and purchase his own vending machines. Through MRS they developed a business plan with a company in Ann Arbor, then Eric obtained a grant from MRS to purchase vending machines.
Eric now has vending machines in two locations and soon to have a third in a school. He has developed relationships with his banker, vending machine products supplier, customers at the two locations, etc.
Eric has learned the value of money and saving for his business expansion, so he can make more money. He also likes to spend his money on clothes, CD’s, and traveling – he went to Hawaii last year.
Kim has a micro-enterprise selling coffee in the morning and at lunch time. She has learned how to purchase her own supplies and count her cash. She is very entrepreneurial - saving her money and always thinking of best buys for her business. Kim’s mother is very supportive and assists with banking and purchasing supplies.
Kim is very involved in her Church and also enjoys traveling very much. As a matter of fact she is saving up her money to take a trip, hopefully very soon.