Making Lives Shine

Lewis Chadwick

July 03, 2012

Lewis Chadwick moved into the Ferry Road Residence in Crown Point at a difficult point in his life. His mother had recently died and his dad had just as recently been given a terminal diagnosis. Having lived his entire life with his family in Putnam, Lewis was faced with adjusting to a new world at a fragile time. Added to this, the fact that Lewis himself continued to face an ongoing lifetime medical condition of his own, and you have a man who would need supports in both his emotional and physical world.

Adjustment for Lewis did take time. He missed his folks. He missed his home. Very normal feelings and frustrations, indeed. But slowly, methodically almost, Lewis began to look around his environment and appreciate this new world of possibility that lay before him. Trying out new things. Meeting new people. Assuming more ownership and control of this new world.

Lewis became friends with the kids in the Crown Point ACAP after school program by both going to the school and inviting the kids in for games of checkers. “They looked forward to me coming,” he says. “Some of the kids really got good at it.” These friendships became strong. Out of kindness, Lewis gave some of the kids gifts of cars from his matchbox collection. They were overjoyed with these presents.

Lewis Chadwick has found contentment at the Ferry Road ResidenceThanks to one of the staff at Crown Point, Lewis has also become an honorary member of the Ticonderoga Fire Department and goes down to spend time with the men about once a month. Lewis also attends car shows and goes nature watching in the area. Lewis has also joined the Tuesday night Literacy Group and is now a mentor to folks in the group who need some language skills support.

 

Physically and medically, Lewis has been quite stable and in his words, “I’m getting my balance and my walking back more. I’m doing better.” To visit with Lewis now at Ferry Road, you get the feeling that it is indeed his home. It’s a very nice thing to see.

Linda Beck

June 15, 2011

Linda Beck's story is a remarkable tale of trust, compassion and perseverance. Linda moved to the Village Lane residence the year it opened – 1991. Linda had spent most of her life in downstate institutions. The world outside was indeed an experience in culture shock.

But Linda learned about the world, about having trust in people, about making friendships, and about feeling comfortable with life in general. It was a slow but steady process, in which a lot of wonderful people guided Linda through her fears and trepidations and helped her to come out on the other side the person she is today.

Linda is now a woman who enjoys new opportunities, who explores her world, and has shown remarkable flexibility when her environment changes. She has moved twice within the past few years – to Keeseville and to Moriah – and both moves have been positive for her. At the Green Street House in Keeseville, in fact, Linda began doing meal preparations for herself with little assistance. She also took up photography.

Year by year we are getting to know more and more about the wonderful person who is Linda Beck.

Ernie Bell

May 02, 2011

One of the first people to enter the Agency during its formative years was Ernie Bell. Ernie came to us from the Rome State School, an institutional life he endured from the 1950's through the 1970's. This was a world of large dorms, collective care, a Darwinian sense of existence, and an environment with little sense of the individual.

Ernie moved into the group homes of Mountain Lake Services in Port Henry, settled in at the newly acquired Witherbee House in that town, and worked at Essex Industries in Mineville. Ernie's biggest challenges in this new life were twofold – building trust in people and finding tranquility within himself. These challenges also encompassed Ernie integrating into a whole new pattern of daily life – living in a community residence and holding a job.

Both of these challenges were successfully faced over the years as Ernie took an active part in controlling his life – another new concept for him from his days in the institution. Ernie would make solid friendships with people throughout the agency. Qualities that had been suppressed from his early years began to flower. A sensitivity towards people's feelings emerged from Ernie and a genuine sense of compassion became a part of his developing or resurrected personality. Ernie's impish sense of humor also began to shine as the years progressed.

You can see the joy in Ernie's smile - it is a testimony to his resilient spirit!When Ernie moved into a home on Meacham Street in Port Henry that comprised four gentlemen, he really started to flourish. Having lived many years in the larger homes within the agency, Ernie relished this new home and began to take on more responsibilities within it. He also gave up smoking after years of the habit - a tribute to Ernie's sense of focus. Ernie also left Essex Industries in 2002 and joined the Helen F. McDonald Center in Port Henry. It was during this period that Ernie's great joy of life was expressed in the form of dance.

 

Ernie Bell's life has been one of spunk and courage in the face of great odds. His spirit is a resilient one, and we at Mountain Lake Services are extremely proud in the part we have played in supporting him.