Tim was in his 20s and living on the streets in Dorchester when he started feeling weak. His sense of touch was decreasing. He was scared and didn’t know what to do. Tim reconnected with his family who helped him find a doctor.
Tim was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. It can cause lasting brain damage.
Tim received treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital but as his condition progressed, he required a wheelchair full-time. He needed 24/7 care that his family could not provide. He spent a few months in a nursing home and then transitioned into a group home at Advocates in Framingham three years ago.
“It was too hard for my mom to take care of me,” Tim said. “I can move around the house in my wheelchair and can’t at my mom’s. Being in a wheelchair is a new style of living. Sometimes I’m still uncomfortable and embarrassed.”
This group home is designed for individuals to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. It is wheelchair accessible. Staff help with cooking, cleaning, and personal care, but Tim can do most things on his own.
Tim enjoys being in the community. He worked at J.C. Penney for three months greeting guests and helping at special events. He stopped recently because of scheduling conflicts but his job coach is helping him find something new. He’s excited to work again.
“I like talking to people and I really loved working at J.C. Penney,” he said. “I want to work in customer service again.”
Tim participates on The Advocates Way integration team and attends Advocates holiday parties and the summer picnic. These events allow him to engage with staff, his peers, and members of the community, which improves his self-confidence.
“I love the staff here,” Tim said. “They help and support me in everything that I want to do. Since I have been here, I have had a smile on my face. This place is home for me.”