Redefining Family
Redefining Family

Redefining Family

For a decade, Terry and Barbara Falwell have opened their home to many individuals with developmental disabilities, but they have formed a special bond with Joey, the latest member of their family. After working with other agencies, the Falwells came to DePaul and were approved as sponsored residential care providers in September 2012.

“We felt fortunate to find out about DePaul,” Terry said. “We love how caring their staff is, for both clients and care providers.”

Before joining the Falwells in July 2014, Joey lived alone, with little connection to his community. Now, Joey is constantly active, joining Terry in his work as a tour guide at Liberty University and attending sporting events both on- and off-campus. He and Terry have become particularly involved with the Lynchburg Hillcats, frequenting their practices and games, participating in booster club events, and interacting with the players—who all know Joey well.

Throughout this, Joey and Terry have bonded over their shared love of sports and now encourage each other to make healthy choices like eating well and drinking enough water. In his time with the Falwells, Terry and Barbara have watched Joey come out of his shell, becoming more outgoing while always being ready to help others. “People who know him can’t believe he’s the same guy he was a year ago,” Terry said.

More than having a place to live, the Falwells have helped Joey to find a place to truly belong, and the entire extended family—including four children and eight grandchildren—have embraced him, with the youngest calling him “Jo-jo”. Joey’s experience demonstrates the power that a home has to transform a life. When asked what he loves most about living with the Falwells, Joey’s reply was simple: “Everything.”

Sponsored residential providers like the Falwells help individuals such as Joey make human connections and experience true belonging every day. Contact DePaul today at 888-233-7285 or complete the form below to learn how you can help.