Two Places to Call Home: Willie’s Story

Two Places to Call Home: Willie’s Story

by Nate Reed, NER Development, Fundraising Manager

Willie enjoying time on the water.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Kelly and Theresa Daily at the Allen home in Little Canada as they prepared to pick up their son, Willie, for his daily visit to their home. “While we love having him come home daily,” Theresa says, “we know that the Allen home is a perfect place for him to be. He has two homes now.”

Kelly and Theresa waited as long as they could to transition Willie into a group home–probably longer than they should have they say. “We were worried that no one could care like we did,” shared Kelly, “But we are getting older and can no longer provide all of the support Willie needs. It’s great to have partners in his care. The staff here love and know him well.”

Willie has been at Allen home for a little over two years, but his connection to Northeast Residence is much longer. Willie started attending the Extended Day Program when he was 6 years old. Kelly and Theresa say the program was a lifesaver as he had a safe, reliable place to be after school. As Willie has transitioned into living with NER, his parents feel the same way about his Allen home. “Knowing that he is cared for 24/7 by people who truly care about him and want to do all they can to help him is a huge blessing,” Theresa says.

The Dailys say Willie’s health has always been a struggle that has made his life harder. “He has had monthly hospital stays during the past four years,” Theresa says, “But the attentiveness and support of the staff here (at Allen home) has made those stays shorter. They catch changes in Willie that are so subtle and share any concerns with us.”

Willie loves horseback riding.

There’s something else that is also very important to the Dailys. “There is an overnight awake staff at the Allen home, that was a must when we were choosing a home,” Theresa says. “Willie does not sleep well, although we have noticed that has improved recently. I think the routine they have been able to establish has been key. The home is also single-story, which was a must have!”

The Dailys have been longtime donors to NER. “It’s easy to support places that support Willie,” they say. “The value of the service provided is something that we look at,” says Kelly, “and the value here is good.”

If you would like to learn about a variety of ways you can help provide support for the individuals we serve at our Northeast Residence homes, please contact Nate at nreed@nerinc.org or 651-419-8670.

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