Clay was on and off the streets and living with his parents before Volunteers of America entered his life. Clay was not working at that time and he would wander aimlessly around the city, causing him to get into trouble. Clay started receiving services from Volunteers of America’s Supported Living Services program 14 years ago. Since then he has grown a lot.
A key aspect of Clay’s positive transition has been his Personal Care Assistant (PCA), Elsa. Clay went through a number of PCAs until Elsa came to work with him 14 years ago. Elsa recalls Clay’s loneliness at the time. When he wasn’t on the streets, he would hide in his dark bedroom with the windows shut and the blinds drawn. He was unhappy with his former PCA, but when Elsa came she was able to draw him out of his shell, help him to communicate better with others, and become self-sufficient. Elsa has taught Clay how to take care of his own medical needs and how to practice good personal hygiene. Most importantly, with Elsa’s guidance Clay does not get into trouble anymore.
After Clay proved his excellent work capabilities as a volunteer he was hired on as a permanent employee at Dorignac’s grocery store in Metairie. He is now able to afford his own apartment and has held a steady job at Dorignac’s for 13 years. When Clay is not working he likes to spend time reading at Barns and Noble and shopping for rock band t-shirts. Clay is particularly fond of classic rock and listens to a lot of radio. Clay loves drawing and painting, especially store fronts from places he has visited. Take a look at some of Clay’s art above.
Billy Don worked off shore most of his life. Due to an alcohol problem and a troubled family life, he was never able to save much money. When his health became so bad that he could not work any longer Billy Don had to use what money he did have on bare necessities. When the last of his meager savings was gone Billy Don found himself homeless. During this period he lived in his truck. When the weather got really cold he sneaked into the AA clubhouse after meetings to keep warm. Billy Don had undergone years of turmoil with the oil company he worked for trying to collect his pension and he feared he would not live long enough to see this happen. After reaching rock bottom Billy Don was placed in the Shelter Plus Care Housing Program run by Volunteers of America. This program provides rental assistance and support for homeless people and for those struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues.
In just under a year Volunteers of America received a letter from Billy Don reporting on the happy changes that had taken place – he was finally able to collect his pension and now owns a small farm in the countryside!
October 26 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
St. Tammany Career Solutions Center
524 Gause Blvd. Slidell, LA 70458
October 27 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Volunteers of America
823 Carroll St, Suite B Mandeville, LA 70448
Must Be At Least 21 Years of Age.
You MUST Bring a Copy of Driver’s License and Proof of Automobile Insurance
Hi, my name is Nicole. I would like to tell you a little about myself. Ten years ago, I told my mom I wanted to move out and get my own apartment. She wasn’t too happy about that. She was worried. But I was 26 years old and ready to move out on my own just like most girls my age would do. She finally agreed and that was one of the most exciting days of my life, to move into my own apartment! It’s so much fun!
I live in a nice apartment in Metairie with my dog Brownie. I have an office job at ACME which is an employment agency for people with disabilities. I do clerical work and odd jobs that need to be done. I love my job!
I receive about 46 hours of support a week from Volunteers of America. This support allows me to live independently. I spend most of that time with my Personal Care Assistant, Stephanie. She helps me with everyday tasks like grocery shopping, banking, cleaning and cooking. But I do a lot of the cooking because I love to cook and I’m a pretty good cook!
I have a beautiful mural on a wall in my apartment that I helped to paint myself. It is red poppies and an angel at the top. Poppies are my favorite flowers. I like the mural because I feel like the angel is always looking down at me.
My dream is to own my own home with a big back yard for Brownie. I would like to get another dog so Brownie can have someone to play with during the day. I would also like to get married someday. I think I am well on my way since I am a good cook, right?
My life is just like yours. I work and I have fun, I have family and lots of friends. With support from Volunteers of America’s Supportive Living Services, I get to do all of the things I enjoy. Thank you to everyone who makes these programs possible!
Our Supported Living Services program (which helps persons with disabilities to live independently) held its annual Christmas party last night, December 9, at Lake Shore Playground Community Room. Among the audience of 75 were SLS consumers, their personal care assistants, and program facilitators.
Consumers were treated to great food, great company, and a DJ! Everyone had a blast while “twisting the night away”.
Recently, three of our Direct Support Professionals, Burnell Jenkins, Ty Flemings, & Denise Lee (pictured) were honored for their service to the Jefferson Parish community. Each nominee received a certificate, a copy of a declaration from Governor Jindal, and their choice of fleur-de-lis pendant or tie tac. Direct Supp…ort Professionals are part of our Supported Living Services program and provide support to individuals with disabilities so they may live independently.
Congratulations, Burnell, Ty, & Denise!