“I Feel Free”

Michelle felt like she had finally overcome her biggest challenge. She had found the support she needed to get back on her feet after years of suffering from domestic abuse and drug use.

That’s when she learned she had severe osteoarthritis. The degenerative joint disease was causing intense pain in her back, and she could no longer move around like she used to.

This new physical pain was another blow. Michelle felt hopeless again. She stopped going outside. She stopped living her life. But deep down, Michelle knew she needed to make a change.

“I was just existing and had no value, no self-worth,” Michelle says. “Then I got involved with LSI.”

Michelle began using LSI’s Services for People with Disabilities. She now receives weekly visits from our staff member, Jamie, who is there to empower her as she achieves her goals.

The duo started by working on simple activities Michelle could do around her house. From there, she began going out into the community, and Jamie’s words of encouragement gave her the extra boost she needed.

“Jamie is compassionate, she’s flexible, she’s understanding,” Michelle says. “Jamie listens. Jamie’s helped me the most by just showing up. She is awesome.”

Michelle has taken back control of her life. She now schedules regular medical appointments, and her LSI team helped her purchase a wheelchair so she can go out to the shops and restaurants she loves. She also spends most of her week working at a local tax preparation company.

“The light came on. I’m getting back out into the real world, being a real human. I have my independence again,” Michelle says. “I feel like a miracle has happened in my life. I no longer use drugs. I no longer have to turn to suicide as an answer. I feel free.”

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