Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Community Home Resident Loses Pounds, Finds Health

‚ÄčIn 2012, Ronnie Williams, 55, came to live at our Creekwood Community Home in Hammond. Diagnosed with mild mental retardation and schizophrenia, Williams also weighed more than 300 pounds and suffered from arthritis.

The Creekwood Home, part of our Community Living Services program, helps persons with disabilities enjoy meaningful lives and fulfill their potentials. When Williams first arrived, he was far from fulfilled. Knee pain kept him from participating in recreational activities and socializing with other residents. He wasn't able to do assigned household chores. Williams spent his leisure time watching TV or sitting outside smoking cigarettes.

The home's staff immediately saw that Williams needed a plan to help him lose weight and improve his quality of life. With the support and motivation of a nurse, nutritionist and staff, Williams was able to lose 57 pounds.

More importantly, Williams's social skills improved. He now participates in recreational activities, like basketball, at home and at his day program. Williams still has a long way to go to reach his ideal weight. Yet he is already enjoying benefits. Williams rarely complains of knee pain, he helps care for his fellow residents and he often jokes with the staff about taking up kick boxing.

At our community group homes, staff members are committed to ensuring a comfortable, familylike environment in which residents can achieve independent living through community connections, education, training and self-directed service plans.

Volunteers of America operates nine community homes for 66 persons in New Orleans and on the Northshore. The six to eight residents in each home receive 24-hour support and supervision by Direct Support Professionals. At Volunteers of America, we believe all persons deserve the opportunity to make the most of their lives. Whatever residents need to find health and happiness, we work to provide it.