Congratulations to Easter Seals Michigan’s Family Services team for being nationally recognized by CARF International in their monthly newsletter for reducing the number of out-of-home treatments for youths. To view the full story go to www.essmichigan.org! Way to go, team!
Today we are putting Shawna ‘In the Spotlight’. Shawna was born in a drug rehab facility and spent many of her early years living in various homes with multiple caregivers. She was living a life surrounded by aggression and substance abuse. She had limited-to-no supervision and was not generally cared for. She had to fight for everything. Eventually she was removed from the home and placed with a caregiver that was invested in building a loving home however damage had already been done. Her upbringing had led her to become aggressive and violent toward her caregiver and peers. She couldn’t fully understand directions, lacked the ability to focus, and would often get into fights. At the age of five, Shawna began coming to Easter Seals Michigan where she started receiving speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and home-based care through our Family Services program. We are happy to report that she is in the process of being adopted by her caregiver and has already shown massive amounts of progress so far this school year. In fact, according to her school she is even staying in her assigned seat which is a MAJOR success. At Easter Seals Michigan we work with the school and the family so that everyone has the tools to build a better life for those we serve. Shawna, Easter Seals Michigan wants to congratulate you on your amazing progress, kiddo. It hasn’t been easy but you are amazing and have already accomplished so much! Keep up the good work!
Kari Kildow is an employment specialist in our Southfield location. Recently we received a note from Velia G., a person that Kari helped to secure a job. Velia has been coming to Easter Seals Michigan for two years. A large part of the Easter Seals Michigan mission is to give each individual we serve the necessary tools that they need to live the lives they deserve. In order to accomplish this we make a variety of resources, including employment specialists, available for their use. Here is what Velia said about Kari:
“Kari Kildow was the catalyst that helped me care about my life again. I cannot say enough about how happy I am for her role and support in my life. She wasn’t just another case worker; she was my mentor and my friend. She cared about me and I could feel her support in my life.”
Velia recently obtained a job and is currently working towards a degree in Occupational Therapy at Wayne State University.
Congratulations to Kari and Velia!
Want to win a 2014 Corvette and $50,000? Century 21 Town and Country are giving away a new car AND $50,000. Tickets for the raffle are on sale now for $50 and only 5,000 tickets will be sold. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit Easter Seals Michigan. The drawing will take place at 2pm on April 12th at John Bowman Chevrolet in Clarkston. The winner does not need to be present to win. To purchase your tickets, call 1.800.999.5655.
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!