Ray

Imagine a life where every day is exactly the same.  You wake up in a tiny bedroom that you share with a roommate, eat cafeteria food, sit for hours looking at faded white walls, eat again, sit again, eat again, go to bed, repeat the next day.  You have no stimulation, nothing to look forward to, nothing to do.  You just exist.

This is what life was like for Ray and several other individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) served by the Sherman Habilitation Center in Sherman, Texas.  Things got so bad; the Sherman Center lost its license and certification from the state.

Evergreen was called upon to help and was able to send in a team of experts to turn things around. No one in the Sherman Center would ever be the same.

Thanks to your generous support, Evergreen was able to close the Sherman Center and move all of its residents into community homes. Some had never lived in a home in the community before.

When Ray arrived at Evergreen, he was introverted and extremely overweight.  He had lived at the Sherman Center for more than five years.

Ray pictured after more than five years of inadequate care

With the right support from Evergreen, Ray’s health and diet improved.  His personality began to shine.  Turns out, he wasn’t so introverted after all.  Soon he didn’t know a stranger. He still doesn’t.  “What’s your name?  What’s your mom’s name?”  Ray asks whenever he meets someone new.

Today Ray is a thriving, outgoing and healthy

Your donations created a day program for Ray and many others. Imagine going from looking at a wall all day to spending hours doing art, learning how to cook, playing music, exercising and interacting with friends.

It was at the day program where Ray discovered what he loves – painting.  Many people with IDD are not able to communicate complex emotions with words.  After Ray’s longtime friend and roommate, Bobby, passed away, he was noticeably distressed. One of Ray’s caregivers gave him a blank canvas and a brush and told him to paint what he was feeling.  As Ray painted, a notable change took place, as if a weight was lifted from his shoulders.  Ray called his completed painting “Heaven” and says, “This is the place where Bobby lives”.

Ray and his completed Heaven painting

Your contributions have allowed Evergreen Life Services to move hundreds of individuals with disabilities from institutional settings into community homes.  Ray is one of many whose lives you have changed.

The community home where Ray lives with five roommates