Horizons reaches out to persons with developmental disabilities | CraigDailyPress.com

Horizons reaches out to persons with developmental disabilities

Erin Fenner
Horizons clients and staff work and live together in groups homes that help developmentally disabled adults live a structured, but independent life. Foreground, from left, Horizons clients, Bobby Holmberg, Jeremy Gohr and Matt Stehle. Background, from left, Horizons Community Integration Specialists, Carol Morton and David Ferrari.
Erin Fenner

People with developmental disabilities who need a little extra help when it comes to transportation, healthcare and learning life-skills can turn to Horizons for support in all those avenues and more.

The non-profit reaches out to adults with developmental disabilities via vocational and residential programs and provides day-to-day guidance to help their clients find success.

Horizons serves 34 adults in Moffat County: 20 of whom who are living in Horizon run-and-operated group homes.

Michael Toothaker, adult community coordinator for Moffat County, said Horizons’ goal is to help clients become independent, and he’s excited to share success stories. Recently, one client moved out of a group home to be on his own with limited supervision.

“He had supported services. He moved into a group home and lived there for five years. Now he’s living by himself,” Toothaker said. “He works half-time.”

Horizons clients who still use group homes find structured independence that would be hard to come by elsewhere.

Bobby Holmbers has been with Horizons in some form for about 15 years, and is proud to be holding down a steady part-time job at Walgreens.

“I actually take boxes to the back and get them crushed,” Holmbers said, noting that he’s worked at Walgreens for five years. “I like it.”

Holmbers “really prides himself on a good work ethic,” Toothaker said. “He’s self-motivated everyday.”

But Horizons teaches more than just life skills. They also find ways to instill pride in their clients and teach a service-oriented ethic.

Jeremy Gohr, a Horizons client, has a dense collection of Special Olympics medals.

“I would not try to wear them all at one time,” he said, and laughed.

David Ferrari, a community integration specialist for Horizons, is a live-in caretaker for one of the group homes.

While it’s intensive — 40-hour shifts — it’s a job he enjoys thoroughly.

“This is good. I don’t even call it a job anymore,” he said.

Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or efenner@craigdailypress.com.

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