Julian has been a supportive housing resident with Options for Community Living for the last two years. In supportive housing, Julian and his housemate pay an affordable rent and live independently. Regular visits from a case manager help Julian maintain his health, connect with resources and live with dignity in the community.
One of Julian’s greatest passions is competing in track and field events at the Special Olympics. Julian has won more than 80 medals in the last nine years. On May 11th, he competed with over 400 athletes in the “Spring Games” held at Bethpage High School, and won first place in his race. When asked what he enjoys most about Special Olympics, Julian explained, “I want to keep myself busy. I love having fun with my friends. I love to compete. I feel proud, and I love playing sports.” Julian has many goals in mind for his future, “My focus is to one day live on my own, work a full- time job, and to win as many medals as possible.”
Julian’s Case Manager, Christine Oliva-Castillo, provides support and encouragement. “We celebrate all of Julian’s accomplishments” said Oliva-Castillo. Julian remarked, “I like working with my case manager — she has made my life easier and I feel blessed to be living with Options for Community Living.” Julian feels that supportive housing has helped him achieve his goals. “Options has given me structure so I can compete and train more often. I feel supported at Options and they are helping me prepare and get the skills I need to one day live on my own.”
Julian will compete again on June 14th and 15th at The Special Olympics New York Summer Games held in Dutchess County. As the largest and most widely attended Special Olympics events each season, the State Games are an integral part of the athletes’ training and goal-setting.
Julian is looking forward to the competition. His enthusiasm inspires everyone around him to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.