Every story at Happy Hour Service Center is one of success, and we plan to keep adding to this list of Exceptional Citizens.
Deborah works in Happy Hour Workshop II washing Robins Air Force Base respirators and packing them for delivery. Deborah takes pride in her job and gets the job done. Deborah was ambitious and wanted to seek additional employment opportunities.
Deborah's bus driver, who happens to also be a Supportive Employment Job Coach for Happy Hour spoke with Deborah on numerous occasions about church, her favorite places to visit and the typical daily life conversations. One day Deborah expressed a desire of wanting a job in the community. The Supportive Employment Job Coach spoke with her supervisor and she gave the go ahead to provide Job Development Services for Deborah and Deborah landed a job at the most prestigious place to work in Warner Robins, GA. That's right, at the "Flight Line Kitchen" on Robins Air Force Base. Deborah was so excited to know when she could start. "Soon...Soon...", the Supportive Employment Job Coach told her. Deborah enjoys every time she works at the Flight Line Kitchen packing lunches for the airmen and now she even takes orders over the telephone. Deborah has become so well known for her hard work that she also now works in the Main (Wynn) Dining Hall on Robins Air Force Base where she serves literally thousands of customers on the weekends when the Air National Guard is activated. We have received numerous compliments on Deborah's work and her glowing personality. Everyone loves Deborah!
Deborah is one of Happy Hour's success stories. This dynamic lady overcame many obstacles in life. She rose above her disability and worked her way up the employment scale at Happy Hour in less than two years. Many developmentally delayed consumers can not nor would not imagine achieving such success. Deborah did not allow anyone to put limitations on her own greatness.
Ronnie Whittle is a delightful individual whose life has become so much more fulfilled in recent years. He was born in Crawford County, GA, the last of ten children. His twin brother was born normal, but Ronnie was born with developmental delays. Due to his disability, his parents were unable to care for him; therefore he was placed at Central State Hospital at the age of five, remaining there until July 1993. At that time he moved to the newly opened Falcon Park I Group Home, giving him the opportunity to receive services in a community based setting. Ronnie celebrated his 35th birthday here the following April, this was his first birthday outside of Central State in 30 years.
Adjusting to his new environment was a challenge for Ronnie, and for the staff at both the group home and his new work place, Workshop I at Happy Hour. There were so many things that were different for Ronnie, things that challenged his confidence, things that made him downright afraid. Things we don't even think twice about. Noises. Crowds. Elevators. Even entering and exiting buildings. Just ask some of the folks that helped Ronnie during those times about a Braves game, the Houston County Fair, the Air Museum at Robins AFB. But in a field where small gains made with great effort over a very long time are truly treasured, Ronnie has indeed been a "poster child". Where he was shy, quiet and turned in; he is now open, talkative and quick with a smile and a hug. A few repeated words have become many complete sentences where real communication takes place. Ronnie eagerly helps with daily chores at home. He earns a meaningful wage at Happy Hour Workshop where he happily recycles paper and rags. His enthusiasm around any holiday, especially Christmas - "When's Santa gonna be here?" - lifts the spirits of all those around him.
Ronnie now has a home he is proud of, comfortable in; a workplace where he does work that is needed, that he enjoys. With patient instruction in daily living and work skills, encouraging support in trying new tasks, developing new confidence that is offered to Ronnie by staff from Happy Hour and Falcon Park, Ronnie is in truth living a new, more meaningful life.
Micah is receiving Community Employment and Community Living Supports services through Happy Hour Service Center. Since attending Happy Hour, Micah has obtained employment in the community at Burger King in Byron, GA. Micah has been employed with Burger King for more than four years now. Thanks to the services offered through his Community Employment Services, Micah has been able to maintain his employment. Micah is assigned a job coach who transports Micah to and from work. His job coach also conducts monitoring reviews at Micah’s job with his employer to ensure his employer is pleased with Micah’s job performance. Micah’s employer also has expressed his appreciation for the services being offered to Micah in order to ensure he maintains his employment. Micah has been reported to be doing a good job at Burger King. He is always pleasant to the customers and eager to help his fellow co-workers.
Micah also receives Community Living Supports services through Happy Hour Service Center. He has his own apartment which he has been living in since 2005. The Community Living Supports services assist Micah with his doctor visits, medications, shopping, community outings, money management, and household duties such as cooking and cleaning. He is very proud of his home and is always eager to show off his place.
Micah is a true example of our mission at HCAEC, Inc. to enable developmentally disabled individuals to function in the community.
Tracey Has a diagnosis of Severe Intellectual Disability, Schizophrenia, Partial leading to generalized Tonic Clonic Seizures, Ataxia – lack of coordination of muscle movement, and Overweight. Ms. Cobb indicates her likes and dislikes with facial expressions or loud noises, she is non-verbal and non-ambulatory.
Tracey smiles when people speak to her. She likes it when someone sings to her, especially Christmas carols. Tracey enjoys attention. She enjoys a variety of community events to include movies, shows, dances, and holiday events.
Tracey’s family is happy she is out of Central State Hospital and now lives in a nice home environment. Tracey cannot speak for herself, but the smile she gives every time she is greeted is indication that she is happy.
Tracey gets out in the community a lot more now and participates in all the activities we have at Happy Hour, such as the Fall Festival, Christmas Parade, Christmas Dance, Valentine’s Dance, and Special Olympics events.
We have definitely made an improvement in this young lady’s life.
Cleveland started receiving Community Living Supports services through HCAEC, Inc. in 2004. These services allowed staff to assist Cleveland to live independently in his own apartment. Staff helped him with housekeeping, shopping, doctor appointments, transportations, and money management. Cleveland excelled with these services and was able to live on his own, with limited supports.
Cleveland still had the desire to get married and buy his own home. In 2012, Cleveland married his wife, Christina, who also attends Happy Hour Service Center. They are both very happy together and both receive supports to allow them to live semi-independently in their home. I am happy to announce that Cleveland continued to fulfill his dream, and he and his wife purchased their first home in September 2014.
Cleveland and Christina both continue to attend Happy Hour Service Center’s day program and receive in-home supports. Cleveland was dedicated to following his dreams of having his own home and getting married, and has succeeded in both. Cleveland is a truly successful story.
Gregory now lives semi-independently in his own apartment that he moved into July 2015. He receives assistance through Happy Hour Service Center. Staff assists him with his ADLs, shopping, doctor appointments, money management, medications, transportation, and housekeeping.
Gregory is happy and often brags about having his own apartment. He has a sense of independence. His family is still playing a major role in his life, and is happy with his decision.
Do you have a Success Story from Happy Hour Service Center?
Want to see it alongside these other successful names?
Let us know!