My Easter Seals Story by Norman S.

I used to live in an apartment in Ferndale. When I became ill, I had to go to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak where I was admitted in the Psychiatric Ward. After that I went to the Day Hospital at Beaumont Hospital. At Day Hospital we stayed three hours a day. We had group sessions and talked about how we were feeling and what was going on in our lives. We also had arts & crafts.

On the bulletin board there was information about Dreams Unlimited Clubhouse (ed. note – a program of Easter Seals Michigan). At that time Dreams was located in Oak Park, Michigan. I started attending Dreams and stayed for about 6 months before attending Our House Clubhouse, a similar clubhouse to Dreams. Our House provided transportation to and from Ferndale, and the staff found me a job at Meijer in Royal Oak as a bagger. I really liked my job and worked there for seven years.

Dreams Unlimited Clubhouse moved to Royal Oak, Michigan and I began attending there once again. I have been attending Dreams for the past seven years. People from Dreams are very nice; for example, when I went into Beaumont Hospital for an obstructed bowel, Dreams staff and members came to visit me. It was very thoughtful.

I moved to a group home in Southfield. A group home is where a group of people who need extra assistance live under one roof; they give you your meds, and feed you three meals a day. I did not like this group home because people screamed a lot. While I was living in this group home I found I was going to the hospital frequently.

My Case Manager from Easter Seals came and visited me in the hospital. I told her I wanted to move to a different group home. She moved me to a group home in Troy, Michigan, which was better until, I felt, the owner made it hard to live there. So they moved me to another group home in Southfield. I am happy to say that this group home is working out for me.

I go to Dreams Unlimited Clubhouse five days a week. I like Dreams very much and feel that I am getting back to my old self. The reason I like Dreams so much is because there are a lot of members who also experience troubles in their lives, and it makes me feel comfortable and less alone. The members and staff make me feel good and help me forget about my problems. I have made a lot of friends there.

They put you to work at the Clubhouse which I do not mind. In fact, I feel good because it keeps me busy and it keeps me active. We help with maintenance and cleaning to make the Clubhouse clean and livable. We also cook lunch and work on the computers. The staff of Dreams helps members find jobs in the community, real jobs where you get paid and then you have extra spending money. Dreams helps members put on parties for holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween, even dinner on Thanksgiving! We go on trips, like visiting museums, the zoo, Frankenmuth and the parks.

I really feel good going to Dreams Unlimited Clubhouse. It is better than staying at home thinking about your problems. I recommend that everybody go to Dreams Unlimited Clubhouse!