By Jen Ferrier (Victoria, B.C.)
Hi, my name is Jennifer and I used to live in Sooke. I lived in Sooke with my dad, mom and sister. I grew up on a farm. I had a pig, a chicken, a cat, dogs and a hamster. My parents got a divorce in the 90s and I lived with my dad and my sister until I was 21, then I moved to Victoria into a home share, with a nice family.
In April of 2005, I started with Special Olympics; I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. But by finding out about Special Olympics I was able to make a lot of friends and I was having fun with Special Olympics. The first two sports I did was softball and 5-pin bowling then I did floor hockey, soccer, track and field, snowshoeing and 10 pin bowling. I made a lot more friends than I did when I was in Sooke.
In 2007, I had met a guy and I thought he was nice but then he turned on me and he left me for another woman. I spent the last 7 years looking for a guy.
Special Olympics have changed my life for the better because I get to do a lot of travelling to sports events across the province and to Washington for a conference.
I was talking to my cousin about living on my own and she told me about the Supported Apartment Living (SAL) program. In 2013 I went to check out the SAL program apartment but I wasn’t ready to move yet and out of my home share.
So I was in my home share until 2014. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, I moved into my apartment, I was scared because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I would be alone in my apartment and I had never lived alone before. It was the first time in my life I was going to be living alone. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the greatest thing in my life, yet the SAL program turned out to be the greatest thing in my life because I was doing a lot of fun stuff in and around the community.
My family said they have never seen me happier in my life. All the members of the SAL program are my friends and all my teammates are my friends. The one thing I love about the SAL program is I don’t have to tell anyone where I am going, I can live my life my way and the other thing I love about the SAL program is the staff are there to help me out when I need it.