JOHN DORIS ROSS TIM RAKIYTA
HOLITAN RONNA JOSHUAH MICKEY PRISCILLA
Kalamazoo Community Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (KCMHSAS) provides a wide-range of services to approximately 9,000 individuals annually. KCMHSAS has been able to increase service flexibility and choices for those that we serve. Please browse these photos and meet some individuals that KCMHSAS serves. Our organization and our partnering provider agencies are proud to have assisted these individuals in achieving their outcomes, realizing their dreams and desires, and improving their overall quality of life.
Since 2007, John has been directly hiring his own staff through a self-determination agreement with KCMHSAS. John's staff have assisted him becoming an active member of the Kalamazoo community and have helped him in his pursuit of a college degree at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC). As John has increased his independence, he no longer requires his staff to attend classes with him. John is pursuing a degree in Communications and he is completing his general education requirements, such as Biology 101. As a Local Leader with Michigan Partners for Freedom, John speaks to groups in Kalamazoo County about the freedom of living a self-determined life and how the philosophy of self-determination has helped him move towards his goal of living independently in his community. John plans on moving into his first apartment soon and credits the flexibility inherent in self-determination arrangements with getting him to where he is now: an active member of his community living the life he chooses.
John is now employed as the first Peer Mentor for Adults with Developmental Disabilities at KCMHSAS.
Doris volunteering at a Kalamazoo child care center.
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Ross working at Harold Zeigler.
Tim’s story is a wonderful example of how a combination of family and professional supports can help an individual overcome a very difficult period and even change one’s life for the better. Following injuries sustained in an attack, Tim was referred to KCMHSAS for services. By working with a KCMHSAS Supports Coordinator, Tim was able to access services and supports to help him become more involved in his community. Shortly after moving into an apartment, Tim met his wife and he is excited to say that they are approaching their first wedding anniversary. Tim also worked with an employment training specialist to launch his own soda vending machine business which has grown to 3 machines at different community businesses. At the encouragement of his wife and her family, Tim has become very active in his church which was something he had long held an interest. “Everybody knows my name. They accept me for who I am,” said Tim. Tim has maintained a positive attitude about how his life has changed over the last 3 years. “My life is going perfect, how I want it,” said Tim. “Everything turned out good.”
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Holitan calling bingo at a local senior center.
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Mickey came to AES through a referral from MRS. He had been working with MRS for 7 years and explains that, “I didn’t need to work a part time but I like the idea of working for a living. I was in school at Traverse City and had two jobs. I moved from Traverse City and I went to MRS because the job market in Three Rivers was very poor.”
“AES took me to different places and helped me with writing a resume and a cover letter. They helped with job coaching and attendance. I’m on the right path with my attendance and no longer need job coaching.” Mickey has been working at Walmart for two years and feels that, “Working gives me self confidence that I can work.
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I always wanted to help other people. I got my CNA license and started my career. I was very happy and things were going well until I was involved in an incident that got me a felony and ended that for me. When I started with AES, I had been looking for work but couldn’t find a job I liked or that paid me the kind of money I really needed. I never thought I would work as a care provider again, but AES found me a job as a chore provider. I loved it. Although the pay wasn’t that great, I was doing what I liked. It lasted for a year until my client got sick and had to be hospitalized. I immediately went back to job searching with AES. Because of the felony it wasn’t easy, but AES found me a job working as a kitchen assistant for Community Healing Center at the Gilmore site where they were willing to overlook my record and give me a chance. The pay is great and I feel like I’m doing my part to help people. They respect my abilities and I often work independently. I am very grateful to my Employment Specialist who was very determined to help me get what I wanted. He helped me in many other areas as well.
“I couldn’t be happier. Thank you AES."
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418 W. Kalamazoo Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Nazareth, MI 49074
2030 Portage Rd
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
615 East Crosstown Parkway