Independence, Excitement & Pride

Susan Pfendler & Laura Steiner

Lifetime’s Community Services program helps people succeed in their journeys toward self-sufficiency and independence. Its incredible staff, led by Director of Community Services, Pearl Nettles, focuses on the individual, providing a strong support system for more than 725 of our friends and neighbors with developmental disabilities who are living independently in the community.

The program’s Community Habilitation services helps more than 125 families and individuals in Monroe County get assistance with parenting and life skills, including communication, safety, accessing community resources, cooking, cleaning and budgeting.

One of the first people to take advantage of the program for parenting support was Laura Steiner. An incredibly devoted and loving mother, Laura joined the program in 2005 for assistance with specific skills that would improve her ability to care for her son Nathan, who is now a young man.

Today, with Lifetime’s help, Laura confidently and proudly lives in her own apartment. She is an active member of her church, works part-time and enjoys her weekly women’s social group gatherings. “I am so happy and blessed to have my own apartment, so many friends, visits from my son, my cat Jack, and so much to do,” Laura said. “I am very grateful for everything Lifetime Assistance is doing for me and I enjoy working with Susan Pfendler, my Family Coordinator.”

Dreshaun Lundy, one of the newest members of Lifetime’s Community Habilitation Program also has much to celebrate. The 19-year-old college student and volunteer says, “Lifetime Assistance is a miracle to me.”

“Dreshaun’s life has not been easy but the more hurdles he encounters the harder he works at overcoming them,” says Victoria Noriega, his Family Coordinator. “The word ‘no’ is not in his vocabulary. He does not give up and has worked very hard, becoming more independent and productive, and working twice as hard when he is on his own. He is a gentleman to everyone he encounters and always has a smile from ear to ear.”

Victoria and Dreshaun use everyday life as a canvas for learning, taking advantage of every moment.

As a freshman at Monroe Community College and through his volunteer work at a local senior center, Dreshaun has learned to manage his time wisely. While studying at the library, he works on computer skills and comprehension. And when cooking dinner, he practices measuring, reading recipes and portion control. Of course, the best part is eating the finished product!

All of this work will improve Dreshaun’s success in college, at home and as he pursues his career in graphic arts.

Dreshaun gives credit to his family and the people who have worked with him from Community Hab for helping him to reach every milestone he has set for himself.  “I have had the pleasure of making new friends who help me succeed, and supervisors who are helpful, patient and welcoming.”

Today, Dreshaun celebrates a new apartment, a phone in his pocket with a number of his own and pursuit of a secondary education.

As he continues to persevere with a helping hand from his family and the Lifetime Assistance team, Dreshaun’s future is looking bright.