It’s often the little things when people first meet that offer clues about whether they are going to “click.” For Michael and then prospective Support Mom Sharon, it was fried shrimp. They realized their shared love for the dish at their first meeting at a restaurant. It was the first of many connections they made in the weeks to come.
Until he was 18, Michael — who has an intellectual disability — lived with his mother. As he approached adulthood, he wanted to move out of his family home. Knowing he would need some support — but not knowing much about options — his first move was to a large facility with 150 residents with disabilities. Later he was approached about other options in smaller community homes. He visited a group home.
Then he met Linda from EveryChild who introduced him to the idea of a Support Family. He agreed to meet one. That’s when he met Sharon and her young adult son and teenage daughter. He liked the warmth and sense of belonging he saw in their home. He liked how they welcomed him to be part of their family. He liked that they treated him as an adult. Michael chose to live with them. EveryChild worked with Michael, his mom, Sharon, and the facility where he lived to arrange the transition.
Michael has now been living with Sharon and her family for over twelve years. He has blossomed in the loving, encouraging environment and the many opportunities it has provided him. Sharon helped him enroll in community college, become a volunteer, find a job, and meet people in his community. He made friends, fell in love, and is now planning to get married. He’s grown from a shy teenager to a confident young man in the nurturing support of a loving family dedicated to his achieving a full life in adulthood.