Matthew had a very special bond with his dad, and when he passed away, Matthew was devastated. His mom couldn’t manage caring for him with his special needs without her husband; however, she wouldn’t place Matthew with a provider unless she was sure he would receive proper care. She wanted to find a community-centric provider that focused on including Matthew, rather than confining him to an institution.

Evergreen was a perfect fit. Matthew would live with other individuals in a nice home in a family neighborhood with 24/7 supervision and support.

One of Evergreen’s community homes in Sherman, Texas

When Matthew came to Evergreen, he was still coping with the loss of his dad. He wouldn’t talk, he wouldn’t eat and he wouldn’t listen to anyone. Evergreen caregivers understood the importance of helping him go through the grieving process. His caregivers also understood that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities often mourn differently.

His caregivers used games to help bring Matthew out of his shell. Once he trusted them enough, they were able to slowly get him to talk about his feelings, goals and how he could work on his behavior issues. His caregivers also encouraged him to turn to art, where emotions and feelings that were previously tucked away, could be outwardly expressed on a canvas.

Today, Matthew is thriving at Evergreen. Each morning, he takes turns cooking breakfast and setting the table with his housemates. Then they divide and conquer their chores, leaving behind a spotless home before going to Evergreen’s Fort Worth Day Center. Every month, he learns something new at the Day Center, rotating between art group, music group, kitchen group and contract group (which is piece work from business partners to give Evergreen individuals a chance to earn money). He enjoys breaks and lunch time at the Day Center’s café area.

An example of a yummy breakfast that Matthew and his housemates are learning to make in the modified kitchen that Evergreen’s Fort Worth Day Center attendees share.

Your support gives individuals like Matthew the opportunity to lead as normal a life as possible and provide structure, safety, the best possible care, a real home and life skills training.  Help us offer this same level of care to thousands of individuals in the United States with intellectual and developmental disabilities.