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Josh was living with his father before coming to Evergreen. Josh’s dad didn’t have a car, so Josh spent most of his time inactive and stuck at home. When Josh’s dad’s health started to decline he decided that his son would be better off in an Evergreen community home.

When Josh first came to Evergreen he was shy and unsure of himself. Josh has mild intellectual and developmental disability and a history of schizophrenia. Psychiatric disorders are widespread (at 32 – 40 percent) among individuals with an intellectual disability. But Evergreen staff is experienced with individuals with a dual diagnosis like Josh and started working on boosting his confidence on day 1.

As his Evergreen caregivers got to know Josh more, they learned more about his childhood. His mother hadn’t lived with him for years, but she suffered from severe schizophrenia and was hospitalized many times. She would say terrible things to her young son, which resulted in a lot of Josh’s confidence issues as an adult.

Josh was encouraged to participate in art classes offered in Evergreen’s Day Program. The classes helped Josh turn his love for video games into a real skill by drawing different designs that he hopes to one day get paid for. He brings his sketchbook with him every day so he never misses a chance to sketch a new idea.

Josh has a family history of diabetes and after years of inactivity, it was very important that Josh start an exercise program. A few times a week he has “guy time” in the gym with his Evergreen buddies. His weight loss, coupled with endorphins from exercise, has worked wonders on his confidence.

Evergreen has partnered with a workforce solutions group in Texas to try and find Josh a job or internship doing video game design. Josh hopes to enroll in college one day.  It’s hard to believe that in 12 months, Josh went from a couch potatoes with little social interaction into a young man with friends and dreams of college and a career.

Your support gives individuals with disabilities that are capable of working and attending school, a real chance to do so.  At Evergreen, we believe that everyone has something that they’re good at. It’s our job to help each individual find their gift, their purpose.

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