Like many other 20-somethings, Patrick had a start on a career, hung out with his friends at local sporting events, liked playing basketball and enjoyed watching pro wrestling on TV.
Patrick was also making plans to live on his own for the first time. However he was going to make the transition through Aspire’s new Life On My Own program. One of the first of its kind in the country, Life On My Own is designed to help individuals gain confidence and skills, discover their abilities and safely “test the waters” before embarking on living completely on their own. Individuals reside in a home-like setting for six months to two years at a house in the community owned by Aspire, receiving intensive training and support from Aspire’s professional life consultants. Individuals can receive lessons at their family home or out in the community as well.
Patrick’s progress through the program was remarkable. “I love to cook and now I clean the house without anyone telling me to,” he said. He started leading his monthly status meetings, learned the skills he needed to live on his own and after nine months was ready for his own place.
Now Patrick is settled in a two-flat and in the next stage of the program, in which he receives support as needed. His instructor meets with him monthly to ensure things are running smoothly. For Patrick, the hardest part of this stage may be finding time to meet. As he says, he’s “happy and busy” with a job, two volunteer groups and playing on two to three sports teams at any given time.
His family is also very happy for him, noting that Patrick quickly learned the skills needed to live on his own. They’re impressed with the Life On My Own program as is Patrick who enthusiastically says, “I would recommend it”, when asked what he would tell others who are in a similar situation and want to learn to live independently.