Jeremiah longed to live on his own with the freedom to have friends and family over to his home. He was living in a less than desirable household with roommates whose issues were affecting his own happiness and he didn’t have privacy. As a client with Toward Maximum Independence (TMI), a nonprofit serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Jeremiah expressed his unhappiness to his TMI Independent Living Case Manager Keltoum Cherki. Keltoum immediately set out on a mission to transform Jeremiah’s life! While she started to look for a home for Jeremiah, he moved in with his mom and stayed on her couch while patiently waiting for a greatly needed change.
Keltoum relentlessly pursued affordable housing for Jeremiah. After some tough negotiating with both the housing program and with Jeremiah, he was matched with a beautiful apartment! Jeremiah had to give up working on Saturdays in order to qualify for the program which he was reluctant to do. Once Keltoum explained to him that his finances wouldn't be affected he was relieved and couldn't wait to move. Jeremiah now lives close to his work. He used to spend more than two hours one way commuting to his job. He now spends just 15 minutes each way!
“I feel happy and independent,” said Jeremiah. “I am glad that I have my own place and freedom. I am able to do what I want. I have easy accessibility to work, I am walking distance from groceries and I can have my friends and family over.”
For the future, Jeremiah would like to find a girlfriend, which is something that he felt he couldn’t do before because he didn’t have privacy.
“I can’t thank TMI enough for making a dream that was impossible, possible,” added Jeremiah. “I never thought that I was able to have my own key to my own apartment. I never thought that I would be able to dream that big and things would happen for me.”
Jeremiah now enjoys spending time with his family and friends, as well as repairing items such as electronics at his new home.
“The fact that I was able to make Jeremiah’s dream come true, even during a pandemic, fills my heart with joy,” said Keltoum. “The work that I do certainly isn’t easy, but the happiness of my clients makes it all worth it.”
We are very happy for you, Jeremiah. Enjoy your new home and your INDEPENDENCE!
The TMI Independent Living program assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible at home with the necessary support. The program provides up to 80 hours a month of one-on-one support to adults with disabilities living in their own home.
(Thank you to Keltoum Cherki for contributing to this story and for being an amazing TMI Case Manager.)
Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 2000. In 2020, we launched Disabled Veteran Employment Services. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.