Below are testimonials about several Life Skills clients.
Joanna has been a part of the Life
Skills community living service since October 2008, residing in the
Kirkwood apartment building. Before Joanna came to Life
Skills she struggled with food preparation, household cleaning,
personal hygiene, and participation in social activities.
When Joanna came to Life Skills she found adhering to her gluten
free diet to be very difficult. Joanna now has a wide range
of food that she eats, and has become more open to trying new
foods. Joanna has taken numerous gluten free cooking classes
and has brought what she learned in class to her own home.
She now participates in all meal preparation independently; Life
Skills staff only supervises and offer suggestions. Joanna
now takes pride in developing with staff a weekly menu and grocery
list of items she will need.
When Joanna first moved into the Kirkwood apartment building she
needed a lot of encouragement from staff to keep her home clean and
to take pride in her apartment. Currently, Joanna has her daily
cleaning list posted in her apartment but does not need to look at
it anymore. She knows what needs to be cleaned and does not need as
much of staff's encouragement to do so. Now when Joanna has
visitors over they are greeted by a sign on her door that states
"Home is where the heart is," which says a lot about the pride she
takes in her home.
When Joanna first moved into her apartment she needed numerous
prompts to get her day going. Joanna now wakes up on her own every
morning by using her alarm clock and no longer needs the verbal
prompts from staff. She is now able to complete her morning
hygiene with only staff supervision and is motivated to go to work
Since living in the Kirkwood apartment building, Joanna has become
a "social butterfly." Joanna currently participates in the
Jewish Community Center (JCC) Friendship group, which meets once or
twice a month for various social events. Joanna also had a
part in the JCC Theatre Unlimited group last spring and is
lookingforward to the next audition. Joanna also enjoys attending
the Natural Ties dinners sponsored through Washington
University. Joanna's staff attends the dinner to assist Joanna in
picking out a healthy meal, but will sit at another table so
Joanna can socialize with her friends. This past summer Joanna and
her staff attended a Birthright trip to Israel for 10 days.
Joanna's mother had stated that she never thought the day would
come where her daughter would be able to attend such a trip but
Joanna did with much success.
Since Joanna has come to Life Skills, she has made vast
improvements in her daily life and has become much more
independent. Joanna's family has reported that they now feel
comfortable taking extended trips because they know Joanna is being
well taken care of by the Life Skills staff, which was not possible
two years ago. Due to the support of staff, her
family and Joanna's desire for independence, she is leading a
happy and successful life.
Tim began attending Life Skills
community connections just over a year ago. Previously, Tim
lived with his elderly parents and attended a day program near
their home. After a hospital stay for displaying physical
aggression towards others, the doctor informed Tim's family he was
no longer safe living in his parent's home and attending day
program. Tim moved into residential services and began
attending Life Skills community connections. Since
coming to community connections, Tim has displayed no physical
aggression. He volunteers every day at various volunteer
sites including, Meals on Wheels, the Veteran's Administration
Hospital, Sherbrooke Village Nursing Home and Bethesda
Dilworth. Tim did such a great job his first year, that
he now assists his peers at each site. With Meals on
Wheels, Tim prompts his peers to introduce themselves. At the
Veteran's Administration, Tim brings trays to his peers and puts
them away when they are dried.
At Sherbrooke Village, Tim assists
with folding laundry and at Bethesda, he assists in the beauty
shop. Recently, Tim's mother and sister stated they have been
waiting for years for someone to keep Tim busy and give him a
purpose and community connections has done just that.
Stephanie has been supported by Life
Skills in several areas of her life since 1996 when she entered the
community access training service.
In 2005, Stephanie had gained enough
skills and confidence to move out of her parent's home and into a
home of her own into her community. Stephanie has been supported by
her Life Skills community living staff now for the past five years.
Stephanie has made tremendous progress over the years including the
ability to independently complete her laundry, keep her apartment
clean and learn home and community based safety skills.
She is very proud of her apartment
and takes pride in keeping her apartment clean. She loves to
have her friends over regularly. Stephanie enjoys
entertaining others, she currently hosts a party about once a
month; she has an incredible network of friends. Currently, Life
Skills staff supports Stephanie with learning new recipes and
decorating her apartment for each of her parties. This year,
Stephanie hopes to learn more about her computer through taking a
computer class. She also wishes to continue her involvement
with social groups such as Natural Ties, Theatre Unlimited, and her
Unique Strengths exercise class with the support of Life
Stephanie receives employment
retention services through Life Skills. She works at
Dierberg's and is very dedicated to her job. Stephanie has
been with Dierberg's for eight years working in the deli
department, maintaining the salad bar one to two days per
week. She is very dedicated and works well with her coworkers
In addition to her job with
Dierberg's, Stephanie volunteers several days a week at Covenant
House. Stephanie's coworkers report that she is a delight to
work with and is always cheerful and upbeat.
Due to the funding made available by
the Productive Living Board, the dedicated staff at Life Skills
that have supported her over the years, the support of her family
and Stephanie's strive for independence, she is leading a happy,
independent and successful life.
Josh is a twenty year old young man
with autism. Thanks to additional funding secured by Governor Nixon
and the Missouri State Legislature, Life Skills is giving him
a place to call home with life-long assistance to live in the St.
Louis community. Four years ago, Josh's mother passed away
leaving his dad Ken as the primary caregiver. Josh's limited
verbal and hygiene skills as well as his need to continually engage
in sensory activities created problems at school.
Frequent interruptions at work and
extra days off to care for Josh caused Ken to lose his job. The
family then lost their home and began staying with friends
and relatives. Moving around was challenging for everyone, but
impossible for Josh who requires a consistent routine. Last
year we helped Josh move into his own apartment. Josh and his
family are now happy and doing well.