Noah's Ark of Central Florida

Empowering people who have developmental disabilities to live, laugh and love

Jimmy’s Journey…

Jimmy’s Journey to the Landings began about 15 years ago at a fundraiser at Lakeland Linder Airport.  I was very excited about long term plans, because I know I won’t live forever, and I did want Jimmy to be as independent as possible.  It seemed like a great group, but living an hour away it was hard to get to the activities.  I kept Noah’s Ark on the perimeter, and focused on teaching him skills to live independently (cooking, sewing, laundry, money, etc.)

Fast Forward to 2014.  I heard about Noah’s Nest from a newspaper article, and I arranged to take a tour.  I was so excited that maybe in about 15 years they might have an opening and Jimmy could live there.  Close to town, activities, independent but still safe.  What parent doesn’t want that for their special kid?  I fell in love with the place.  Everybody seemed happy, they got along, it was perfect.  Jimmy was a little leery about it, but I figured I had plenty of time to prepare him.  So we became members, I started bringing Jimmy to some of the activities, just to get him used to the people there. He was already involved in a group in Winter Haven, but he needed to expand his horizons.  Plenty of time to get him ready to independently live……Little did I know!

Next thing we knew, ground was breaking for the Landings!  I WANTED Jimmy to be a part of this.  So we went to all the planning meetings, filled out more paperwork than I had ever filled out before and really amp’ed up the involvement.  It truly seemed too good to be true, and it was happening so quickly.  We went to the applicant interview, where Jimmy impressed the panel with his mad skills…cooking, cleaning, balancing checkbooks, money, etc.  This was in November of 2015.  Over the next few months we had more interviews, toured the Landings,  met Leah (amazing lady!) signed more papers and then…..July 2016 arrived.  July 21st to be exact, We came over and signed the Lease!  Jimmy was so excited.  He was excited with his new apartment and was ready to move in!  That weekend we packed him up, and Sunday July 23rd he spent his first night at the Landings!  The HARDEST thing I have ever done is drive away and leave my son, my special son, the one I’ve fiercely protected, waving at me from the door!  I cried all the way home!!!  He didn’t have roommates for about 6 weeks, so it was truly on his own!  He loved it!  Over the next few months we got into a routine of visits, shopping, and roommates.  Jimmy does all the cooking and the roommates will clean.  I trained him a little too well as he fusses at his roommates like I used to fuss at him!!  He will tell you he is the boss of his house, and now he has no problem kicking me out!  He is adjusting very well, and now we are looking at employment opportunities for him.  He loves the activities at the Landings, and I love the fact that he is safely independent.  It was truly a Godsend, and we were truly blessed!

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January 19

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