[ Parry Sound, Ontario ]

Shari Armstrong, Community Living Parry Sound : I first met Katie and she was, at that time, transitioning out of the transitional youth program.

She wanted to move out of her parental home and move into her own apartment.

And she wanted to learn the skills of budgeting, and living on her own and having the independence and just having the self-confidence to do all of that stuff.

We helped her get the apartment. We’ve made a workable budget for Katie to be able to afford to pay her bills, and to be able to buy groceries, and to be able to have money for things that she wants or she needs.

And then we helped her get a job and maintain employment.

Katie Courriere: My work as a receptionist is very fun. Answering the phone lines, photocopying, faxing.

I love being able, I love being able to come in and help people find the help that they need. That’s what brings me most joy – is helping people.

I do my own, I do my own fun and active things with my own place.

I wanted to get out and I wanted to do so much for myself.

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.

I think Katie has done amazing. She has come leaps and bounds since I’ve met her.

People want to be out and they want to contribute, and people see that, and that’s what we’re trying to promote.

Everybody just wants the same thing out of life.