31 Oct Erica Pushor’s Story
Erica Pushor is a social butterfly. Although she is independent, she loves to build friendships and values the close relationships she builds with others.
When she was 18, Erica wanted to “be on her own.” Erica has an intellectual disability, and while she is independent, she needed support when she wanted to move out of her father’s home. When she and her father found New Hope, they felt like it was a good fit and Erica moved into a New Hope residential home. Her father, Patrick, said, “I’m really happy with where she lives. Our faith is important to us and she is surrounded by people who support that. They treat her like a person.”
The team members who have supported Erica for the 20+ years she’s lived at New Hope mean the world to her. “At New Hope, I can get some freedom and make my own decisions,” she says. “The people here help me make positive choices and if I do something that isn’t a good choice, they talk with me about it.” She is grateful that many of the New Hope staff who have worked with her have been around for a long time. She thinks of them as more than caregivers. She also considers them friends and enjoys sharing how each person has uniquely made a difference in her life.
Since moving to New Hope, Erica has been able grow her independence and do more things in the community and at home such as getting a job at the YMCA and making friends. Socializing is a big part of Erica’s life. She values the friends she has made while being a member of New Hope’s AIM (Achieving Inclusion and Meaning) group and at her job. While Erica is drawn to people, people are also drawn to her. “Erica is very generous and kind and checks in with people – even with those who are not verbal,” sad Amanda Boyd, who leads the AIM group. “People find a way to communicate with Erica!”
When asked how Erica feels about New Hope, she said, “I like it here. They really care and help me out as much as possible. I love the staff. I have friends in AIM and don’t want to leave them.”