John* moved into an Options’ licensed community residence in September 2016. He was 20 years old at the time and already had many independent living skills, but he struggled with feelings of loneliness. He often ran away without notice or warning. Although he was informed that he was able to travel, John still ran away, prompting interstate police investigations, Justice Center queries, and causing his providers and family anguish and worry. Staff in the community residence worked with John for two years to help him develop coping skills to manage his feelings. This was not easy for John, but he did not give up. He had a strong clinical support team, a private therapist, and very supportive parents. John’s providers worked together to guide him on the right path.
By September of 2018, John demonstrated the skills required to move into Options’ apartment treatment program. John still, on occasion, felt lonely and thought about running away, but he used his coping skills to manage those feelings and alerted his support team to prevent a crisis.
John began attending Suffolk County Community College and aspired to be a nurse. He developed new friendships, earned good grades, and studied diligently for the nursing school entrance exam. As a result, he scored in the top 10% of the nation. He will begin the nursing program at Suffolk in the fall of 2020. John also completed training to become a certified peer specialist and is currently employed providing peer services. He has goals in mind and works towards achieving them every day. The staff at Options for Community Living, Inc. could not be more proud of his accomplishments!
*Name has been changed