Meet Chris

I’m Christine and was born in 1988 when Die Hard, Land Before Time and Beetlejuice were all top movies. Denim Jackets were the fashion rage, The Beach Boys were still making music, the first Wal Mart Super Center opened in Missouri. You could buy eggs for $.65 a dozen, go to the movies for $3.50, and buy a gallon of milk for $1.89

Moving forward 30 years to 2018, the Eagles won the Super Bowl, buying a large pizza is the best deal, and cinnamon rolls, fried chicken and iced lattes were favorites. 

However, the greatest thing for me in 2018 was moving into my home in the Evergreen Elm program. You see my mom wanted me to become more independent and have the opportunity to become involved in so many of the activities that Evergreen Elm has to offer. 

Since moving in I’ve found a second family who makes sure I get to do the things I want to do. One of the Tuna Valley Trails is just down the road and in the nice weather I go with my housemates and walk the trail. I get to go swimming and bowling through Special Olympics. We go out to eat (my favorites are pizza, wings, cheese burgers and ranch dressing). 

I love to sit on the porch and watch the traffic, especially the State Troopers catching speeders! We count the number of stops and just laugh. My housemates and I dance and exercise whenever the radio is one. Evergreen Elm has lots of parties that I get to enjoy. I have a HUGE DVD collection which I prefer to watch instead of TV however, I do enjoy watching movies and eating popcorn with my housemates. 

I get to visit with my brother and his family since they moved closer. I have two nieces and one nephew. 

Probably the greatest thing that has happened to me since moving to Evergreen Elm is the help that I receive from the staff. They help me become more independent. I help with my laundry, I help with cleaning up, loading the dishwasher, just to name I few things I can do. Staff help me with my medications and any health concerns. We’ve done so well that I don’t need oxygen anymore, I eat healthier and I exercise. My doctor told me that he is so pleased with everything I’ve accomplished! 

I’m so glad to be part of the Evergreen Elm family! 

Rob RiceMeet Chris
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Dana’s Story

In 2020 we got the privilege of meeting a very polite gentleman named Dana. He moved in to one of our supportive living homes. He had gotten himself into some trouble.  Evergreen Elm was contacted to provide supports.   This was all rather new to Dana compared to how he was living prior to coming to Evergreen Elm. Dana has shared that he struggled with things in life for quite some time. He had dealt with problems related to drugs and alcohol. His relationships with some of his family members were somewhat toxic at times. He didn’t always associate himself with very decent people. Dana also had a difficult time getting along with people.  

 This all sounds like a completely different person than the Dana we know now.   Dana is very friendly and easy to get along with. He enjoys being helpful and social. He now has a good relationship with family for the first time in years, especially his sister, Jonie. He is sober and attends AA meetings on a regular basis. He takes his medications daily.  Dana also has his own apartment that he keeps immaculate. 

When speaking with Dana about the services he received from Evergreen Elm and whether or not he found them helpful, he expressed that he did. He said as soon as he arrived everyone was friendly. The staff got him on a routine of taking his meds and going to appointments right away. He said he definitely needed the help with because he wouldn’t have remembered on his own. He thinks that the fact that he was able to stay busy at the house rather he was cleaning, helping cook, or just that fact that there was always someone there to talk to also was very helpful for him. He said, “They sure do treat the boys good up there. They feed us good too!” 

Dana now lives in an apartment on his own. He receives services once a day for med monitoring and on an as needed basis for other needs, such as medical appointments. He stated, “I aint got it down packed yet, but I’m getting there.” He is right, he is. He did an excellent job at regaining the skills he needed to become successfully independent. We are very proud of him and very honored we have had the opportunity to meet and work with him over the past few years. 

Rob RiceDana’s Story
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Amazing Jay

Our Evergreen Elm family has been blessed for many years to know Jay Furman, a very kind and friendly man. He originally hailed from the Port Allegany area, but had no difficulty adjusting to life in a new town. Jay has made many friends and acquaintances in the time he has lived in Bradford, in fact, so many people know him that agency staff fondly refer to him as the unofficial mayor of Bradford. Jay is truly in his element when he can dress up in a suit and be out “campaigning.” 

Jay currently resides at 207 Jackson Avenue with two housemates, but he has resided in various Evergreen Elm residences since his admission on 9/29/1981. Along with exploring all his new town had to offer, Jay was afforded many new opportunities to learn new skills and to increase his independence. Not only was this happening with Jay within his home, but also at Futures Rehabilitation Center. He has been a long-time employee of Futures, beginning his employment there on 9/29/1981. 

One of Jay’s favorite pastimes is fishing. For Jay, fishing is much more than idly sitting on the bank of a stream or lake waiting for a bite. He is excellent at casting and likes to keep the bait he has chosen moving through the water in hopes of attracting a trophy fish. Jay catches a fair number of fish and prefers to return them to the water, even though he does an excellent job at gutting fish. If you find yourself driving past Jay’s residence, check out the side yard. You may witness a bobber flying out toward Jackson Avenue as Jay practices his casting for his next fishing outing. 

Jay recently made his stage debut in the “From the Heart – It’s Showtime” presentation last June. He was able to keep up with the many cast members less than half his age, attending practices three times per week, and n. Jay participated in many group numbers, showcasing his singing and dancing abilities and also his regard for his fellow man. The highlight of Jay’s time on stage was his harmonica solo, to which the crowd responded with thunderous applause. 

Other favorite activities of Jay’s include sitting on his front porch, exercising at Upbeat and challenging others to a game of Rummy or Yahtzee. Jay is very competitive and rarely loses at his favorite games. If he is unable to rustle up a card game, Jay is content to play Solitaire on his tablet, doing word search puzzles, listening to music or watching the Buffalo Bills. 

Jay has a full life, enjoying his friends and acquaintances in his life who care about him and the variety of opportunities he has for participating in activities. Jay’s life may be described best by a quote from Frank Tyger, “Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.” 

Rob RiceAmazing Jay
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