Better Together

In 1975, a 17-year-old named Jim was living in a state-funded facility for children with disabilities.

A kind young man, Jim loved the Boy Scouts and his friends. One of his friends was Dan Ryan. Dan worked at the facility where Jim lived and the two shared a special connection. Only a few years older than Jim, Dan was learning to navigate adulthood, just as Jim would soon do.

Back then, when people turned 18, options were few for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. In all likelihood Jim would live the rest of his days in a state-funded institution.

Dan knew individuals like Jim had so much more to offer the world. So, he and a colleague wrote a grant to get funding for an apartment where Jim and others could live. It was nothing short of revolutionary.

“I really wanted the program to be successful, so I moved in to be the staff person. Ultimately it became part of the LOGAN residential program.”

For three years, Dan lived with Jim and others as their supervisor. Eventually he became Jim’s legal guardian – a designation he’s proudly held for more than 30 years. Their friendship has endured for over four decades.

“You know the saying ’To know him is to love him’? This expression really fits Jim. Everyone who meets him immediately understands he’s such a kind person and so polite. I was really impressed with Jim’s manner and his kindness. Right Jim?”

“Yes, sir!”

Supported living and advocacy programs like those at LOGAN have empowered Jim and others to thrive in the community, and fully participate in everyday activities like going to work and hanging out with friends.

“It’s really important for the community to realize is that while LOGAN does get a lot of government funding for much of its programming, there are some they receive no money for – one of which is the Protective Services which helps establish guardianship.”

Whether it’s bowling, art classes, bocce, Special Olympics or dances, Jim and others can be part of social and recreational activities.

 

Hear Jim and Dan’s story  by clicking to open the video above.

 

“Once a person turns 18 regardless of disability degree, they are their own guardian unless you go through the legal process of establish guardianship. LOGAN Protective Services does a great job of guiding families through the guardianship process.”

 “LOGAN really has a lifelong relationship with individuals once they get started with them. It starts with infants and toddlers through First Steps and continues through their senior years.” 

Jim and Dan’s lifelong friendship would have never happened without the help of LOGAN. They are better together.

 

For more information on the Annual Appeal, contact:

Jill Langford
Chief Development Officer
(574) 289-4831
jill@logancenter.org