Bert Leith, Services Manager, Community Living Algoma: The Community Homes Program is really an alternative to the more traditional residential modes such as group living. Basically it’s a family in the community looking at providing support within their home and being prepared to have someone come to live with them. And that’s where the Currie family [comes in] who presently provides support to Lisa within their home.

Steve Currie: And of course we’ve got a lot of sunshine, so Lisa’s going to squint all the way there.

Shirl Currie (sitting beside Lisa Sherrard), Community Homes: I have a brother who has some challenges and so in working with him I had realized that this was something that I wanted to introduce my children to. So we spoke to Bert and he told us that he had a young lady that he wanted us to meet and he just thought that Lisa would be perfect for our family, so that’s how we got involved.

Steve Currie: We take a lot of time to take Lisa to the camp, to the cottage, to go boating, fishing. Whenever they have fireworks downtown, Lisa likes the excitement of the people and the noises.

Shirl Currie: We participate in our community church where we’re really involved, and we’re probably there three times a week. Lisa participates, she has a job that she does there. She’ll say ‘this is your first time here, then have a coffee on me,’ so that’s basically Lisa’s job. She greets people, she wants them to feel welcome, so she in fact is buying them a coffee.

Corey Porter, Church goer: So you’re Lisa eh? Are you going to buy me a coffee?

Lisa Sherrard: Yeah.

Shirl Currie: Lisa has lots of facial expressions. When she’s not very happy she will certainly lift her arms and she has noises that she makes to tell you that she’s not happy. When she’s happy sometimes you hear her laugh way down in her belly.

Bert Leith: What we’ve found is that generally when the person is surrounded by people who truly care about them, that has a commitment to supporting that person, really likes the person, it makes a huge difference in how that person responds. And we’ve found that there’s been a marked improvement in the overall quality of life, the overall disposition of the person when living in the community homes program.

Shirl Currie: Knowing that we could … in our home having Lisa being a part of our home, just her smile sort of lights up my life you know. Knowing that there was a part of my life that didn’t have Lisa in it and when she came into our home, our lives have never been the same.