After successfully completing life skills and practicing the skills learned while living in the program residences, clients are given the opportunity to live independently in the community. Tucker County is a small, supportive community with a great deal to offer.
Practice More Independence
It is critical that the clients get a chance to practice, on a more independent basis, all the skills they have learned. While living in Davis, they continue to attend life skills and mentors check in on them in their homes, and provide them with transportation as they need it. Transportation includes, rides to work, rides to the grocery store, rides to doctor/dentist appointments, going on social outings, etc. Staff also monitors cleanliness of living environments and personal hygiene, to be sure they are continuing to implement the skills they have learned.
Developing Adult Lives
Knowing that our clients will struggle during this transition, we rent/own two homes in Davis so we become the landlord for the clients. This allows us to coach clients through the struggles without having the harsh consequences that can occur with other landlords. Clients are responsible for paying rent and utilities in addition to covering their grocery and personal expenses, but these costs are on a scale that allows them to implement the skills they have learned in an affordable environment.
During this time, we continue coaching and helping the young adults move forward toward their established goals for independence. They are developing their own adult lives, which include developing the adult child to parent relationship rather than the parent to adolescent child relationship everyone has been accustomed to. The goal is for them to start paying more for their own care, thus reducing the financial burden on the family. As this happens, the family can choose from a menu of services rather than paying the full monthly tuition.
Clients begin to see themselves as community members instead of program participants. We encourage them to utilize the resources they have available to them, yet provide enough space for them to make decisions and choices on their own.