My name is Pam, I have been involved with the Summer Foundation for about a year now.
I was diagnosed with MS in 2009. I was living independently in a private rental but after I had a serious relapse and ended up in rehab for 7 months they told me to consider moving into a supported home. I moved into a group home in 2018. There were pros and cons – it was nice to be surrounded by people, but I didn’t have agency any more.
My plan coordinator suggested looking at SDA and put it in my plan. When the SDA apartment came up I was excited but at the same time I wondered if I would be able to live on my own with my level of disability.
Now I’m living in my own SDA apartment. I manage fine, I didn’t need to worry at all. I think the Summer Housing concierge model is very good – with my 1-on-1 staff I manage to achieve a lot more. I’m able to join groups and meet people in the community, I like to do my shopping in the shopping centre – just things that everyone else does.
I had a cat that I had to give up when I ended up in hospital. In the group home I had a concrete statue of a cat but now I have finally been able to get George. I love having a pet.
I’ve been involved with the Lived Experience Team for about a year. It’s nice to be involved in the workforce again after previously having worked as a project manager looking after the doctoral program for a school of bio medical science.
I would just like to say to others – make the best of every situation but at the same time never give up your dreams.