Our Mentors are inspiring individuals who open their hearts and share their homes to make a difference in the lives of adults with disabilities. Read more Host Home stories, which come from our national partner, The MENTOR Network.
Become a Mentor
REM Iowa is a partner of The MENTOR Network, a national network of local health and human services providers. View The Network’s site above for heartwarming stories about how Mentors have positively changed the lives of adults and children around the country.
Chase Made the Decision to Change His Life
Meet Chase, who is served by our Host Home program! Prior to moving in with his Host Home family, independent living could be challenging for Chase. He lived alone in his apartment, and although he received in-home services a few times a week, Chase had difficulty maintaining relationships. Without a job or a day program to attend, Chase had limited interaction with community life and often struggled with anxiety.
Chase knew it was time to make a change to improve his everyday life, build healthy relationships and better his mental and physical wellbeing, but he wasn’t getting the support he needed to do so. That’s why Chase decided to enter REM Iowa’s Host Home program.
Through the Host Home program, Chase moved in with his Mentor Laurie. Once Chase moved in with his Host Home family, he had instant support, one-on-one direction, and a “newfound friend” in his Mentor’s son, who has become like a sibling to him. “Laurie is like a Mom to me,” said Chase. “She cares for me every single day.”
In the home he shares with Laurie and her son, Chase receives daily support and encouragement, giving him the motivation he needs to be consistent with his daily living skills and maintain healthy habits. Chase keeps a chart that helps him remember his daily and weekly tasks. He has also been working towards more long-term goals, such as building and maintaining healthy relationships and participating in community life. Chase also enjoys spending time with the family’s pet cat, Samantha.
With Laurie’s help, Chase is now thriving – in addition to leading a healthier life, his anxiety has improved and he has become more independent. He is mastering important life skills, such as maintaining his finances, scheduling and following through on appointments, exercising regularly and much more. Chase has also earned a job at a local restaurant, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, and he commutes to and from work using the city bus. At work, Chase has bonded with his coworkers and enjoys spending time with them.
Tayler Marion, a Program Services Clinical Coordinator with REM Iowa, has known Chase since fourth grade, and she was thrilled to work with him. “We knew each other as classmates all through school and graduated from school together,” said Marion. “I remember the day I saw his name on our referral list and I was very excited to be able to possibly work with him, especially in the Host Home program. It’s been wonderful to see him thrive!”
Chase is more confident in himself than ever before, and this confidence allows him to enjoy community life to an extent that was previously out of reach. He loves meeting up with friends, with whom he plays basketball and Pokémon Go, and he loves to play golf and go bowling through the Special Olympics program. Chase is also an amateur meteorologist, as well as a budding YouTube creator, and he loves cooking and has a blast creating his own recipes.
Chase’s Mentor Laurie provides him with the caring and support he needed to change his life for the better. Laurie believes in him, and she knew that with a supportive home and a loving Mentor, the sky was the limit for Chase. And Chase loves her right back. “Our personalities all go really good together,” said Chase. “I love my life and everyone in it!”