John

In 1978, the first Walkman was introduced, Jimmy Carter was President, “Hotel California” by the Eagles was the record of the year, and John came to live at Evergreen.

When John arrived at Evergreen, he had challenging behavior and could be hard to control. It was a time when there simply were not a lot of opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). John’s parents sought out Evergreen because, even 40 years ago, we believed in the power of community inclusion and in the importance of teaching individuals to be as independent as possible. Their hope was that one day John would be able to live a normal life as part of his community.

Fast forward forty years to the present. John lives in his own apartment with the help of Evergreen’s Supervised Independent Living Program. He has enjoyed solo-living since the 90s after gaining enough independent living skills in his community home to live alone.

Evergreen’s direct support professionals assist him with tasks like grocery shopping, meal preparation and getting to and from doctor’s appointments. He is able to get around his central Louisiana community using the public bus system and is well known and liked around town.

Evergreen’s Supportive Employment Program provides John with transportation to and from his job as a janitor at a tennis center in his town. He works five days a week and has been a valuable employee for more than 30 years.

“John is very dependable,” John’s boss, Francesco Acuna says. “He is very popular with our members. He knows all their names – even their nicknames – and they stop to visit with him.”

Your support gives families like John’s a gift many never thought possible – a full and independent life for their adult children.