Thanks to a Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration award, three residents of Green Acres Development Center have started a new life in their community.
On Sept. 11, 2008, 38 residents of the center left, never to return. Two days later, Hurricane Ike stormed into Bridge City and destroyed the place that they had called home. But because Texas had received a MFP grant, residents were able to move back into the community.
Because residents had participated in self-determination training and had person-directed plans, they and their families participated in choosing their homes, furniture and fixtures.
The following stories are collections of memories about three of those residents (all of whom are named Danny), the staff who cared for them, and residents’ families regarding their experiences with this MFP project.
One Green Acres staff member said that her most memorable moment happened at the end of a two and one-half hour Person-Directed Planning session for Danny T. The facilitator closed Danny’s meeting with this question: "So, what do you think about all of this?" Danny took a deep breath, and then began to weep. He said, "I am going to have my own house, I am, and I am."
"This was an emotional moment for the entire group involved in this meeting (we all wept)," the staff member added.
Another staff member said that one of the most memorable moments for him was the house warming party that friends and family gave the Dannys when they moved into their new home. The three Dannys were ecstatic to finally have a home of their own. They all had family members who came to help them celebrate.
Danny H. had his brothers, stepmother and stepfather, and sisters-in-law come to welcome him in his new home. He met everyone at the door saying "This is my house!" He then joined his brothers in the back yard for a game of football.
A third staffer remembers that when Danny B. first saw his house and was given a key, he kissed the key, saying, "mine." Danny’s sister and brother-in-law were both very touched by Danny finally having a home of his own. They said he had never lived at home with them and had always been in a facility. They said that now they can be a family again. They jokingly stated. "Thanksgiving at Danny’s this year."