Adapted and expanded from an original article by Tricia S. in the River Rush Review, newsletter of Neponset River House, Norwood, MA, a program of Riverside Community Care.
Neponset River House member Erez B. has taken an exciting new step in his life and decided to live independently. Clubhouse members are inspired by his courage and the opportunity he has created for himself as he embarks on this empowering new adventure. Erez received his Section 8 voucher and worked tirelessly with the Clubhouse to locate an ideal living situation, and to complete the necessary steps to satisfy the required documentation. And on April 1, he moved into his own apartment in the beautiful town of Canton.
Erez admits that the major life change is giving him some anxiety, but who wouldn’t feel that? What he is most excited about is the feeling of being independent. He believes he will be happier with more control over his living situation and how he decorates and utilizes the space in his apartment. He acknowledges that it might feel a bit lonely living by himself without roommates at first, but he wants to give this experience a try because he has never done it before and believes he will benefit immensely from it.
Postscript ~ we caught up with Erez after he had a few weeks to settle in, to see how things were going. Here are some of his observations and reflections, in his own words:
Q: After a month, how have you adapted to your new situation?
A: It took a while but I have been getting better about managing a healthy and productive daily routine independently. I’ve had a few setbacks but those are learning experiences. My biggest obstacle is setting and sticking to a meal plan that doesn’t result in wasted food.”
Q: Have you had a chance to make friends in the area or find any new activities?
I haven’t yet had a chance to meet many new people, because once I got settled in, I hit the ground running with getting my transportation set up to bring me to Neponset River House. Now that I’ve accomplished that and can attend the Clubhouse every day, I can start focusing on getting to know my new neighborhood and my neighbors.
Q: What advice or encouragement would you give to anyone taking a similar step?
I would recommend anyone embarking on their first independent living journey should take it one step at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed, and use the resources and guidance provided by your support system. Independent living doesn’t have to be pursued independently!