I grew up in Salmon Arm BC.  I lived with my Dad for most of my life.  When I lived with him I went to school and would go on jobs with him.  I sometimes struggled with school due to my disability, but I still managed to graduate.  My Dad got sick and I took care of him, the house and the animals.

When I was 20, my father passed away.  I called my brothers to help me with the hard times.  I decided to move to Grand Forks BC where one of my big brothers lives.  I could then spend more time with him and my nieces and nephew.

They helped me find a basement apartment and got me settled in to my new place.  They helped me set up the utilities and find furniture.  My sister-in-law helped me get on disability and find services to help me, like Sunshine Valley Community Services.

Sunshine Valley Community Services has helped me be more independent.  I first started with 1×1 and learned about my community and they helped me move into a new place when my other was sold.  I then joined with some groups there and made new friends.  They helped me get temporary work with catering, restaurants and landscaping.  I am still trying to find what I would like to do.  They help me with things I don’t understand and find a way to help me with it so I can do it on my own.

I joined special O and met more people and have been invited to join the community men’s floor hockey league.  I have also joined the Grand Forks Self Advocates, and a local book club.  I have a girlfriend too.

I like it here and I am glad I decided to move.

By Mike Asling

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