My Success Story: Moving Into My Own Apartment

Jamie Louchin
Written by Jamie Louchen, Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Self Advocate Coordinator
A goal I have had for myself is to move into my own apartment.  My team didn’t think I was ready for this big step in my life.  I lived in an apartment with two housemates.  One of my housemates and I would argue all of the time.  I was very unhappy and I started to advocate for myself at my IP meetings.  I prepared before the meetings by writing down the goals I had for myself and what supports I thought I would need to achieve my goals.  I also wrote down what I needed to work on to show my team that I was ready to live on my own. 
I spoke up for myself in my IP meeting in September, 2010.  My team said they didn’t think I was ready to move on my own yet.  I didn’t give up.  I continued to speak up for myself.  At my IP meeting in April I told my team all of the reasons and changes I have made in my life to show them that I was ready to live on my own.  My Jamie Louchinteam thought I did a great job speaking up for myself and were impressed that I was so prepared for the meeting.  They said they thought I was ready to live in my own apartment.  My dream came true. 
I moved into my own apartment July 1, 2011.  I love my apartment and I love being more independent.  To make my dream come true all I needed to do was to be a good Self Advocate and take charge of my life.  My next big goal is to hire my own staff.