When Katie Courriere first came to Community Living Parry Sound, she was a young woman seeking independence.
“She wanted to move out of her parental home and move into her own apartment,” says Shari Armstrong, Katie’s support worker. “She wanted to learn the skills of budgeting, living on her own, and having the independence and self-confidence to do all of that stuff.”
First, Community Living Parry Sound helped Katie, who has a developmental disability, map out her goals. They then put a plan in place to help her achieve them.
“We helped her get the apartment,” explains Shari. “We then made a workable budget for Katie to be able to afford the things that she wants or needs. And then we helped her get a job and maintain employment.”
Katie currently works as a part-time receptionist and couldn’t be happier with her new job, or the fact that she gets to return to her very own apartment at the end of the work day.
“I moved into my apartment and that’s when I was at my most happiest,” explains Katie. “I do my own cooking and cleaning. I do my own fun and active things with my own place.”
Katie says she’s not only found her independence by working and living on her own, but she’s also gained a new sense of self-confidence. And thanks to the support she has received from Community Living Parry Sound, she now feels like there’s no goal outside her reach.
“I wanted to get out and I wanted to do so much for myself,” she says.” When you’re here at Community Living and when they help you that way, they steer you on that path, going towards your goals. And when that self-confidence kicks in, you just go on that path and you don’t stop.”
Shari says she’s seen big changes in Katie and couldn’t be more proud of her progress or what it says about the capabilities of people with developmental disabilities.
“I think Katie has done amazing,” Shari says. “She has come leaps and bounds since I met her."
Katie’s accomplishments are not just an important success for Community Living Parry Sound she adds — they also send an important message to the community.
“Katie is very independent, she’s very responsible, she wants to work, she has goals — people with developmental disabilities want to be out and they want to contribute, and others see that, and that’s what we’re trying to promote.”