Updated: Jun 29, 2021
(Missy and Doug outside of Big Lots after they scored their toilet paper)
Doug has been a client with the Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) Independent Living program for more than 20 years. Missy and Doug were married in July 2019. Missy joined TMI as a client in February 2020 when she officially moved in with Doug in his apartment. In addition to assisting Doug and Missy to set up their home, TMI assisted them with Social Security Administration support and with their Section 8 housing application. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TMI also assisted the couple to prepare and to “shelter in place” as much as possible.
TMI Facilitator Rosalind Manuels assisted Doug and Missy to stock up on food by visiting food banks in their area. While they were out getting supplies for themselves, they also picked up food bank items for an 80 year old woman who could not get out on her own. They provided a contact free drop off of food at the woman’s door step. They were very happy to assist someone in need and the woman was extremely grateful.
(Missy and Doug after receiving groceries from the food bank)
Even when you're stocked up on groceries and supplies, you still need to get out and search for the basics and, just like everyone else in San Diego County, Doug and Missy were in need of toilet paper. Fortunately, TMI staff were successful in locating toilet paper at Big Lots. As most people know, it was like finding a needle in a haystack, but mission accomplished!
“Our Community Living Services staff are essential employees who continue to provide necessary support services to our clients,” said TMI Executive Director Rachel Harris. “The safety of our clients is our top priority. Our staff have helped many of our clients to prepare for the pandemic and continue to assist them with being as safe as possible. Our employees are instructed to wear Personal Protection Equipment when providing services whenever possible.”
TMI's mission and core values are the driving force behind our emphasis on helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) develop and build skills so they can do things for themselves; be independent. We help our clients to work toward their maximum ability.
TMI serves more than 1,000 children and adults with I/DD and continues to employ more than 400 staff during the pandemic. Please consider making a donation, which will be used toward the purchase of Personal Protection Equipment for our essential employees when providing in-person services for our clients. We thank you in advance!
Thank you to our wonderful Direct Support Professionals for their continued hard work and dedication to our clients during this challenging time.
(Thank you to CLS Case Manager Monika Driscoll for contributing to this story.)
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.