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Adam Found a Place to Call Home

Adam is like many guys who are 24 years old.  He enjoys video games, movies, and hanging out with his friends.  He has a job and likes going to work every day.  However, as an adult with a developmental disability, Adam’s story is a little different.

For Adam, the word “home” had long meant a group home living with as many as five other people.  In some cases, this meant sharing a bedroom.  In traditional group homes, most of the meals and activities are planned for residents, and they may not have as many opportunities to make their own choices.  For that reason, the little things—like going down the street for an iced coffee or to visit a friend—haven’t always been possible for Adam without advance planning.  But with the help of California MENTOR’s Family Home Agency (FHA) program, Adam is now living with a family of his choosing and has a real say in the direction of his life.

In the FHA program, individuals live in private family homes in the community with caring providers called “Mentors”.  Because this model is geared toward the needs of the individual, it is highly flexible and focused on personal choice for the Mentor and the person receiving services.  Adam joined Dawn and Jesse’s household in 2010, and is now happy to share a home with his Mentors, as well as Jesse’s mother and the family’s two dogs.

“It’s like I’m an adult, but with a family,” Adam said. “People care about me.  I have my own bedroom, I get good food and Dawn and Jesse are awesome.”

Dawn and Jesse are equally excited about having Adam in their home.

“Adam has shown improvement in so many ways,” Dawn explained.  “He is able to sit and have calm conversations now, when before that was a challenge for him.  He is able to slow down and think about his choices and decisions before he makes them.”

Dawn and Jesse are also grateful for the support they receive from California MENTOR.

“They have been great,” Dawn said of California MENTOR.  “It’s not an easy task taking someone else into your home and caring for them.  But we wanted to do it.  We wanted to help Adam.  And California MENTOR has been there for support every step of the way”

Adam is very appreciative of everything his Mentors do for him.

“I enjoy spending time with Jesse and Dawn.  They make me feel like a part of the family.”