Challen is delightful and energetic with a warm smile and bright laugh. Challen lived with her family most of her life, but her parents were desperate to find her a supported living agency as health issues made it impossible for them to continue caring for her.
Cascade Supported Living (CSL) in Lynden had an open apartment at the 2nd Street cluster in the summer of 2016. Mom, dad and Challen visited, saying “yes” on the spot for the move. Throughout 2017, Challen became one of the tight-knit group at 2nd Street cluster.
Prior to the move, staff visited Challen at her home on Orcas to get a feeling for her life, goals and interests. Mom and dad were certain Challen would thrive with younger, more active staff. They were right.
Challen attends art class weekly, spin dances monthly and hasn’t missed a CSL birthday celebration or holiday party yet. She has bowled with Special Olympics in the fall, and also with a neighbor on occasion. She is artistic and built with staff’s help a tree on her wall for fall, cutting out and decorating leaves to tape onto a trunk.
After checking out several area churches, Challen settled at North County Christ the King (NCCTK). She goes weekly, sitting with many friends and staff.
She doesn’t miss a holiday. Her apartment is festooned with all the appropriate gear be it Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day or Valentine’s Day.
Challen’s vocabulary has benefitted from exposure to many different staff and friends. She uses a combination of words and signing. Many signs are creative and clever: For Becky she signs a key; Sierra she makes a sign that looks like a river; Courtney, she points to her knee. Challen calls all staff “guests” and throughout the day questions “Guests?” with her hands up to indicate she’d like to know who else is coming.
Challen misses her parents and two Yorkie terriers, but speaks to her parents frequently on the phone and has pictures of the dogs.
Challen is only one of the many blessings at CSL. She wears our heart on her sleeve.
Challen’s success would not have been possible without your prayers and your generous financial support. By partnering with us you help us provide the needed supports and training to help people like Challen develop their gifts and talents so that they can live independently and thrive in their community.