Learning to navigate adult life through a trusting collaboration

Elias has been a client of CHAI Services since 2020, the year he turned 22. A beloved member of the CHAI community, he loves playing the drums, taking boxing lessons, and going out to lunch with his friends from the CHAI Works day program. In coming to JF&CS, his family sought to continue and expand Elias’s access to community activities, volunteer, and vocational opportunities, with the goal of seeing Elias get a part-time job.

Craig, a JF&CS employment coach, worked with Elias on developing his skills while forging a trusting relationship. As a volunteer at Food Link, a local hunger-relief organization, Elias had the opportunity to practice a variety of tasks with Craig’s support. When Elias was ready to take on a job at Marshall’s, Craig worked with him to prepare for his interview, coached him through the routine steps of the job, and helped him navigate his schedule and transportation. Now that Elias is settled into his job, Craig checks in regularly and provides helpful feedback.

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Trish, Elias’s mom, is his biggest fan. Through the JF&CS Adult Family Care program, she receives skilled support and funding to help meet Elias’s needs at home. JF&CS trainings have helped her guide and support Elias day to day while allowing him to develop greater self-determination. And JF&CS accesses state funds to enable her to provide a variety of enriching experiences for Elias to promote his health and fitness, to develop his talents, and to make community connections and new experiences.

Elias has grown tremendously since starting at JF&CS, according to all who know him. He advocates for himself, is motivated to improve, and takes feedback well. He is more responsible for his belongings, for his schedule, and in his commitments. He is also growing in his friendships and social awareness. Through a fruitful collaboration between Elias, his family, and JF&CS staff on common goals, Elias is learning to navigate adult life with joy, meaning and independence.

Many hands come together at JF&CS to carry out the constant work of improving lives.