Danny loves his new home—a home he shares with his compassionate caregiver, Jonshay.
“I love being at Ms. Shay’s house because she takes good care of me and loves me and I get to listen to music,” said Danny.
Danny spent years in a residential treatment facility where his life was much different and isolated. Now, he has Jonshay who is always there for him. He has a lot of friends, a community he is connected to, and a church he looks forward to visiting. He has the love and support he needs to live the life he deserves.
“Danny’s story is the heart of why we do this work,” said Marcie Mann, DePaul sponsored residential manager.
When Jonshay decided to become a compassionate caregiver, or sponsored residential provider, she wanted to make a difference. She knew there was a need in her community and she felt called to help meet it.
“Individuals with disabilities deserve to feel a sense of belonging and I wanted to make that possible for someone,” said Jonshay.
Finding a sense of belonging is often difficult for individuals with disabilities. They face many barriers—from lack of support to lack of housing to lack of community inclusion. Choices are usually limited if they’re given any at all. DePaul’s sponsored residential homes can help break down those barriers, provide more choices, and build a sense of belonging. For Danny, living in a sponsored residential home has been life-changing.
“He’s come a long way,” said Jonshay. “He can write his name now and carry on conversations. He goes to school every day. He has become part of our family.”
The change has not been without challenges.
“When you’re getting to know someone new, it’s not always easy,” said Jonshay. “You have to listen, take time to learn who they are, and try to understand the reason behind what they’re doing.”
With the help of DePaul, Jonshay and Danny have overcome challenges and feel prepared to weather whatever may come next. They are in this together. And because of that, Danny is now living a life with less limits and more opportunities.