Turning a House Into a Home

On July 1, 2015, four men experienced moving day. However, they weren’t helping anyone move, they themselves were moving into their own home.

The move went well for Joe, one of the residents at the new house located in St. Peters. He moved out of his sister’s house and he says he doesn’t miss her too much. “It feels good having a home,” Joe said. “I’ve bonded with Craig (one of his roommates). He’s a funny guy. He likes to tell jokes and he makes me laugh.”

The third time was a charm for Alex, another resident at the new house. His mother, Liz, tried two times before but each time she had a panic attack. “This time everything fell into place,” Liz said. “The biggest reason I tried again is because I know I’m not going to be here forever. I’m Alex’s nucleus when he’s home with me, now he gets to be his own nucleus at his home. It will be sad for him when I’m gone, but it won’t uproot his entire existence.”

The transition for Alex went really well. “I prepped him for months before the move,” Liz said. “He hasn’t asked to go home, so I take that as a really good sign.” However, the transition has been a little more difficult on Liz. She said this has been emotional for her. “It’s liberating yet lonely for me,” Liz said. “I know it’s a good thing for both of us, but it doesn’t make it any easier. All I know is taking care of Alex.”

The same can be said for Evan and his mom, Lisa. “Evan’s transition has been good,” Lisa said. “The transition for me is different, but good. I’m still getting used to it. There’s more time to do things and that takes some getting used to.”

Both Liz and Lisa are happy to see their sons making friends with their roommates and the staff. Even Liz is realizing she can do, go and be without Alex. “Community Living did a great job in matching the guys,” Liz said. “They all have a little something in common. None of this would have happened without Heatheryan (the family’s case manager from the Developmental Disabilities Resource Board of St. Charles County). I had several choices and Community Living was the right one for us.”