Meet our participants!
Judy Came to Life Steps Foundation So Cal Adults Services twelve years ago from a social services agency that was closing. She has been living in an apartment with a roommate, but it did not work out. Prior to that her experiences were confined to survival in group homes and institutions. Life has been filled with many cruel and extraordinary challenges for Judy, who lives with developmental disabilities.
When Judy came into our world, she had aggressive behaviors, did not know how to live independently, and had never been introduced to the routine tasks and social etiquette of mainstream adult life. Banking, cleaning her home, cooking, grocery shopping, keeping a budget, and just being nice to people around her who wanted to help were all new to Judy. The fact was that Judy was a 47 year old woman who had been told what to do all of her life. In helping Judy to thrive and improve the quality of her life, we realized that we wouldn't expect her to know how to manage what we take for granted.
SoCal Adult Services team began to help Judy navigate through everyday activities. It was not easy. For example, she would become frustrated and sit down in the middle of the bank and refuse to leave. Of course, this caused quite a disturbance in the bank. At the grocery store she could not get along with shoppers or staff. Judy had trouble on the street, calling people names as we walked with her. But very slowly, Judy started to come around. Eventually, she would no longer sit on the bank floor or fight with customers at the super market.
Today Judy is living a life that no one believed she would ever live. She came from institutions where she had been abused, and was living in an apartment which was less than stellar. She had nowhere to turn. Thank goodness the Harbor Regional Center stepped in and made major changes, and go her to Life Steps Foundation for help.
If you could see or visit her now, you would not believe she is the same person from twelve years ago. Not only can she manage her own home, but last year she voted in a public election for the first time. She has gone on many trips outside of Long Beach, participating in our Seaside Learning Center day program. Judy even helped the Center obtain an aquarium tank and all the equipment, and even helped pick out the fish. Her life is rich in ways she wants it to be. No longer is everyone telling Judy what she and how to do everything. All of us at LSF are proud of Judy and what she has accomplished.