Mainstream Living

Moments of Truth - Stories of Impact


Mark decided he wanted a job in the community and, without assistance, applied online to Fazoli’s.  Before his interview, his Team Leader, Dean, and his guardian, Bill, offered some advice, reviewed boundaries, and wished him luck. Due to Mark’s track record, Dean and Bill were not too hopeful, but Mark listened to their advice and pushed forward. Mark was offered a position at Fazoli’s, working two days a week.  He took it upon himself to request hours on the days and times he usually attends ACE so he wouldn't lose any hours at his enclave job. Mar even scheduled his work hours outside of his staff time so that he can continue to work with Mainstream and move forward on his residential goals. Dean is very proud of Mark and this exercise of independence. Mark is feeling happy and excited about this new opportunity.  


Sam has recently gone through three major changes - he moved to a new home to be closer to family; he was assigned a new transportation provider and; he switched the session he attends at the Center. The first couple of days were very challenging for Sam. He vocalized a lot, expressing anxiety and concern, and in general, seemed upset (which is not typical behavior). The staff, recognizing his struggles, jumped in and made sure to find Sam activities that he enjoys, while providing lots of positive feedback and encouragement as well as introducing him to other peers who he may not have known very well. Although this was a lot of change for Sam, he quickly settled into his new routine within a week and is comfortable with his new peers and staff.


Ryan has works for Wal-Mart for several years and though he likes his job, he sometimes has trouble getting time off approved.  He had a big vacation planned for and turned in his request for time off with plenty of notice only to find that all but two of his days were approved. Of course Ryan was upset.  He takes his job very seriously and actually considered not going on his trip. However, he had already paid for the tickets, so his Team Leader, Margaret called and spoke with his supervisor. Although she needed some convincing, the supervisor finally said she would approve the other two days if he re-submitted the request. His new request was approved and Ryan spent nine wonderful days in Hawaii.


According to TAY Program Director, Betsy DeHaan, Willie moved her to tears for a second time.  She observed an interaction with Willie's roommate and their grandparents. He was a true gentleman and apologized for any inappropriate rough housing and talked about ways he planned to correct his behavior. He then talked about his plans to hopefully move into an apartment with this roommate. This was pretty neat. While it may not seem like a lot, Willie has come a long ways. He is starting to accept responsibility for his actions and actively looking for ways to engage in his recovery.


Jessica was one of the first TAY members we were on the 3rd floor at McUnion. A staff member recently ran into her at Prairie Meadows, where she now works. She told the staff that she is doing well, has her own home, and is working five days a week.   me she is doing really good, she has her own house, she works 5 days a week. Staff remembers that Jessica used to struggle with motivation to clean and is pleased to see that she is now working and showing great responsibility.  


Hollie came to McUnion from Lutheran Hospital where she had been in inpatient for over a month.  At first, Hollie was very resistant to change. She "knew" a lot of things but, in coming to McUnion, was challenged to apply that knowledge.  Hollie went to the hospital once, around Christmas, and once discharged, she never went back. At her exit interview, staff asked what motivated her willingness to change. Hollie said that she finally "understood that she could be comfortable with herself", something that had terrified her only six months before. Hollie says that she is ready to move on with her next chapter and is willing to come speak about her success at classes. She has moved into her own apartment and is receiving SCL services.

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