Community Champions: 'Living Independence for Everyone"

Published: Jun. 19, 2019 at 7:08 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - With LIFE, living independently is a right, not a privilege.

LIFE has been helping individuals with disabilities live on their own for years.

“The help from LIFE organization, they were wonderful,” said Kimberly Clark, who recently moved into her own home. “I don’t know what I’d do without them. They got me to where I could live independently again in my own home.”

That’s what “Living Independence For Everyone,” or LIFE, has done in 11 counties for more than three decades. It’s an organization operated by individuals for individuals with disabilities, consistently sending people home.

“I think everybody from the age of probably 10 on wants to live independently, and we provide the services and support to allow them to do so,” said Neil Ligon, LIFE, Executive Director. “People with disabilities are no different than people without disabilities. They just have their goals and they want to achieve those goals, and sometimes they need a little help trying to figure out how to do that.”

Helping Clark transition from a nursing home was typical of LIFE’s work - arranging resources to make the move possible.

“They help with a lot of stuff. Grab bars for my bathroom. a lift chair to help me get up,” she said.

They also follow up with monthly in-home visits.

“She told me about going to her high school reunion the last time I was here, so that was wonderful; something she wouldn’t have been able to do if she was in the nursing home,” said Mark Swift, LIFE, Home Modification Manager.

Clark says she wouldn’t be able to be home without the Community Champions at LIFE.

“They’re great. That’s all I can say. They’re great.”

“Whenever anybody is looking to live independently, it’s just a matter of identifying how they can do that and what the barriers are to doing that. Ultimately, Ms. Clark’s success, all of our consumers, it’s their success. We just get to watch it.”

LIFE is a non-profit organization that serves 11 counties in Southeast Georgia.

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